Chelsea will be hoping to reclaim their place in the Premier League top four when they welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
The games continue to come thick and fast all across Europe and in England, Gameweek 32 of the 2020/21 Premier League season continues into the midweek. On Tuesday night, Chelsea will play hosts to Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge, aiming to be back in the top four.
Chelsea have endured a roller-coasted of a 2020/21 campaign, having gone from the top of the table to nearly dropping into the bottom half when Frank Lampard was in-charge. Under Thomas Tuchel, the Blues have been far more convincing, although they have lost two of their last five games. However, they come into the game on the back of a 1-0 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final.
Brighton & Hove Albion, on the other hand, have been one of the more frustrating sides in the Premier League this season, having created a raft of chances in most games, only to be let down time and again by poor finishing. As a result, the Seagulls find themselves languishing at 16th in the standings, winning just 7 of the 31 Premier League games they have played till date.
The reverse fixture, played at the Amex Stadium back in the opening weekend of the season, saw Chelsea run out 3-1 victors over Brighton. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Thomas Tuchel does not have any fresh injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of the visit of Brighton & Hove Albion. On Tuesday, the Chelsea manager is only likely to be bereft of the services of one first-team player, with Mateo Kovacic not recovering from a thigh injury.
There is some good news, though, with Andreas Christensen expected to be in contention to start after recovering from a muscle injury. Thiago Silva, though, will face a late fitness test to determine his availability. Neither centre-back, though, might start, with Kurt Zouma starting at the heart of Chelsea’s three-man central defensive unit.
Kovacic’s absence means N’Golo Kante and Jorginho continue in the double pivot, with the duo providing a solid base for the rest of the Chelsea players to flourish. Out wide, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marcos Alonso ought to be the two wing-backs, with Reece James and Ben Chilwell getting a breather.
A couple of changes are expected in the attacking unit as well, with the irreplaceable Mason Mount the only player retaining his spot in the final third. Kai Havertz should come in for Timo Werner to lead the line for Chelsea against Brighton, while Christian Pulisic will likely replace Hakim Ziyech, who was the match-winner for Chelsea versus Manchester City in the FA Cup this past weekend.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Mendy; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger; Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, Kante, Alonso; Mount, Havertz, Pulisic
Brighton & Hove Albion
Like his counterpart in the Chelsea dugout, Graham Potter has a couple of players who are in line to return ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge. On Tuesday, the Brighton & Hove Albion boss will have to make do without just four first-team players.
Tariq Lamptey (hamstring) and Solly March (knee) are long-term absentees for Brighton, with Percy Tau and Florin Andone also on the sidelines, but inching closer to their returns. The good news comes in the form of the return of Aaron Connolly, apart from Adam Webster, both of whom are in contention to start.
Webster ought to make it to the starting lineup, taking his place in the back three that will provide cover to Robert Sanchez in the Brighton goal, with Ben White and captain Lewis Dunk being his partners. The absence of Lamptey and March means Pascal Gross and Jakub Moder will continue as the wing-back pairing.
Yves Bissouma has been enjoying an impressive campaign so far and will have a big role to play against Chelsea as well in the middle of the park, tasked with keeping a check on Mason Mount. Bissouma will likely be partnered by Adam Lallana in midfield while a fluid attacking unit will comprise of Neal Maupay, Danny Welbeck and Leandro Trossard.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Sanchez; White, Dunk, Webster; Gross, Lallana, Bissouma, Moder; Trossard, Maupay, Welbeck
1. Chelsea to win @ 1.57
1. Christian Pulisic to score anytime @ 2.75
- Chelsea are unbeaten in 14 games against Brighton & Hove Albion since losing the first meeting in January 1933 (W12 D2). The Blues have won all six competitive home fixtures against Albion, scoring 14 goals without reply.
- Brighton have only won two of their last nine Premier League matches, A sixth top-flight away victory of the season, though, would represent a club record for the Seagulls.
- Chelsea have dropped points in eight of their 15 home matches in the Premier League this term, more than in any of the previous 23 seasons except 2015/16. Brighton, on the other hand, have dropped 20 points from a winning position this campaign, a joint-league high alongside Tottenham Hotspur.
- Brighton have kept 10 clean sheets in the Premier League this season, seven of them since the turn of the year. It is their best top-flight record since recording 14 clean sheets in 1981/82.
- Chelsea have kept 14 clean sheets in 19 competitive matches since Thomas Tuchel became head coach.
Player to Watch
He has been incomparable in the Chelsea first-team setup this season and Mason Mount will once again hold the key if Chelsea are to get the better of Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls are no pushovers at the back and for the Blues to carve out the openings, they will need their talisman to be at his very best. His deliveries from set-pieces will also be crucial, and all in all, Mount has to be on the money.
Chelsea 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion
Do not be fooled by the lowly position that Brighton find themselves in. The Seagulls have the quality to hang with the best of teams in the Premier League, something they have shown time and again this season. However, Chelsea have been one of the most solid sides since Thomas Tuchel took charge and should come out unscathed from this one. The Hard Tackle predicts a close contest that should see Chelsea prevail by the odd goal.