Date: Saturday 29th October 2022
Venue: Amex Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
After yet another short rest between games, this afternoon takes us to the Amex Stadium to face Graham Potter’s former club, Brighton.
After a proper struggle against Manchester United last weekend that ended 1-all, we put in a solid performance against the young and energetic RB Saltzburg midweek to see us comfortably through to the last 16 in the Champions League, with a game to spare.
We start the day fifth in the table, just behind fourth-placed Newcastle on goal difference, whilst Brighton are ninth. The seagulls have taken a point at Anfield and gave City a run for their money at the Etihad last weekend but haven’t won in their last five. Chelsea are currently unbeaten in 9 and Brighton haven’t beaten us in the Premier League in 10 previous attempts, so you just know how this one is likely to go. Leandro Trossard had a hattrick against Liverpool, and he’ll cause us all sorts of issues, whilst for us, Aubameyang is taking time to really wear in his shooting boots and Sterling just gives me flashbacks to Shaun Wright-Phillips, so it’s the same old frustrations and we might have to look elsewhere again for goals.
We’ve had four draws in our last five meetings, and you might imagine today will be much of the same, particularly with de Zerbi still without a win in Potter’s old role, except, on the last three occasions we’ve had a six-match unbeaten run in the top-flight, our next game has ended without a point at all…
Going into today’s game, Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi, says “Graham Potter did a very good and very big job here and I have to say thanks for this team. But in football, you can know everything, and you can lose the same. I have changed some things in this last month and we are able to play the right game. In the Champions League (Chelsea won 2-1 at Salzburg on Tuesday) they played well. I also watched the games against Milan in London and Milan and against Manchester United. 1-1 against Manchester United who played well. I think he has the same problem (as me) because he changed 40 days ago and maybe the beginning is always stronger. I am happy in terms of the performances, but I can’t be 100 per cent happy because the results have not been good for us. But I follow my way, my idea, and the players and believe in themselves. I want to win our first game, to change the moment. The moment is not bad but when the results are not good you are a bit sad. The quality of play, the individual skills we show have been very good but, of course, we need that first win.”
Chelsea manager Graham Potter, meanwhile, says “I think they’re a really good team, they understand what they’re doing, they understand each other, they understand the game, they understand space and now they’re looking at implementing Roberto’s ideas. I think they’re doing well, apart from a little bit of luck I think they’d have more points, they’ve had some tough fixtures as well. Great bunch of lads, absolutely fantastic, top staff as well. I had a fantastic time there. I know the quality and I know how difficult the game is tomorrow. I think they’ve been unlucky. That’s the only thing I can say, their performance have been good. A lot of positives there, there difference is, luck sometimes you need it. They haven’t had too much from what I’ve seen. Performances have been good, they’ve got the capability, I know the quality of the team, so it’s a tough game for us.
Sometimes life throws you opportunities and you have to take them or not. Timing wasn’t great for anybody but sometimes that happens and it’s about the decision. The decision to work here was too good to turn down. As for the crowd, what my expectations are, I don’t really have any. Most people I’ve spoken to from Brighton have been very supportive and thankful but I’m not naive, I know that’s not universal.”
For Brighton, Joel Veltman (calf) is a doubt and Levi Colwill is ineligible to play but Kaoru Mitoma and Adam Lallana could be available.
For Chelsea, N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Wesley Fofana, Reece James and Kalidou Koulibaly (all knee) all remain out.
BRIGHTON (Possible line-up): Sanchez; Veltman, Dunk, Webster; March, Caicedo, Mac Allister, Estupinan; Gross, Trossard, Welbeck
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Chilwell, Gallagher, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Sterling, Havertz
Brighton 1-1 Chelsea (18th January 2022)
CURRENT FORM (PL)
- Chelsea are unbeaten in 17 games against Brighton.
- Four of the five most recent meetings ended in a draw.
- Brighton have only taken two points from their past five league fixtures.
- Chelsea have gone six league games without defeat
- Brighton are one short of 100 top-flight wins.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in nine competitive matches, winning six
- Brighton are one of just three sides yet to concede in the final 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season.
Sportsmole: Brighton 0-0 Chelsea