Date: Monday 14th September 2020
Venue: Amex Stadium
Kick-off: 20:15 BST
Our opening game of the 20/21 season sees us at the seaside as we take on Brighton at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton finished last season with a win over Burnley although they’d been a bit up and down after the restart. They’ve brought in a couple of new players though, one of those being Adam Lallana, who’ll bolster their midfield. They’re a solid side defensively as well and might need to be if Havertz and Werner find their Premier League feet early. Mind you, with three of our new signings missing and starting with the same defence that shipped 54 goals last season, Brighton are unlikely to feel over-awed.
We ended last season having secured a Champions League place and an FA Cup final appearance, but realistically, we limped over the line in the league and failed to turn up for the cup. Its not all doom and gloom though because, when they are all fit and ready to play, the new players we’ve added should put the smile back on our faces this season.
This is the third time Chelsea are starting a Premier League campaign on a Monday, we went on to win the title on the previous two occasions in 2014-15 and 2016-17. Let’s not get carried away though because it’s Brighton’s fifth Premier League game played on a Monday – and all five of them have been drawn.
Going into today’s game, Brighton manager Graham Potter, says “I think you have to be realistic and say there are teams up the top who are in the Champions League regularly who have a different economic situation to us. We have to find ways to compete with that, that’s what it is and it is what makes the league so exciting and interesting. Everyone has different aims, but we have to focus on ourselves and what is right for us, with the economic challenges we have faced and the uncertainty of the last few months.
These (Chelsea) players are top players and they could just gel very quickly and hit the ground running. I can’t control how quickly Chelsea become the team they want to become. I have to focus on my team and getting us to the maximum level we can, because if we don’t do that it doesn’t matter what Chelsea do, we are going to struggle.”
Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, meanwhile says “Hakim Ziyech took an injury to his knee against Brighton and he he won’t be fit, hopefully it’s a matter of weeks, we have to see. Chilwell is working towards fitness but he won’t be fit. He’s developed and improved so it’s good news. Thiago is now in London but he’s not training with us until the weekend so I doubt he will be in contention for Brighton. Out of the new ones that’s where we’re at.
I understand that (people see Chelsea as challengers) and I hope Chelsea fans are excited because we have brought in high level of players. But I know what it takes to win the Premier League. City and Liverpool have run over a few years. I hope we will improve. We know expectations are there, but we want to improve and not get ahead of ourselves.”
For Brighton, Florin Andon (knee) Christian Walton (ankle) are injured, whilst new signing Adam Lallana will be hoping to get a start.
For Chelsea, Billy Gilmour and new signings Hakim Ziyech (knee) and Ben Chilwell (heel) are injured and Thiago Silva lacks fitness. Mateo Kovacic is suspended.
BRIGHTON (Possible line-up): Ryan; Veltman, White, Dunk, Burn; Propper, Bissouma; Gross, Lallana, Trossard; Maupay
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; James, Zouma, Rudiger, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho; Havertz, Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Werner
Brighton 1-1 Chelsea (1st January 2020)
- Chelsea are the only opponents Brighton have played a league fixture against without ever winning.
- The 1-1 draw at Amex Stadium on New Year’s Day was Brighton’s first point against Chelsea and came at the 10th attempt.
- Brighton’s only competitive win in 14 against Chelsea came in an FA Cup tie in 1933.
- Brighton’s three wins in 18 Premier League fixtures in 2020 is the lowest of any side currently in the division.
- Brighton recorded their highest Premier League tally of points (41) and goals (39) last season
- Chelsea conceded 54 Premier League goals last season, just one short of their club record.
- Chelsea’s nine clean sheets last season was also their joint-fewest in a Premier League campaign
- Brighton also registered their fewest defeats last season (15).
- Chelsea registered 12 defeats last season – equally their most in a season since 2003.
- Brighton could win their opening league fixture in successive seasons for the first time since 2010-11.
- Brighton haven’t lost a league game on a Monday in 10 attempts since April 2015.
- Chelsea Nine.
BBC Sport: Brighton 0-2 Chelsea
Sportsmole: Brighton 2-2 Chelsea
90min: Brighton 0-2 Chelsea