In a transfer window that has been rather strange due to the financial strain on the clubs caused by the Covid pandemic, Chelsea's ruthless transfer activity has been a rare sight. They have bolstered their squad quite well and have broke the bank to bring in some solid reinforcements.
Now the Blues are all set to kickstart their 2020-21 Premier League season as they travel to take on Brighton and Hove Albion. Chelsea are expected to mount a title challenge this time around. However, though they look solid on paper, there are still some issues that could hamper their progress.
Let's take a look at 5 reasons why Chelsea could struggle against Brighton.
#5 New signings require time to bed in
Chelsea have splashed the cash this transfer window and upgraded their already promising attack by bringing in the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva.
However, the Premier League is quite different compared to the Bundesliga or the Ligue 1 and the high-intensity football is going to take some getting used to. Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva have already been ruled out of the game and it will be interesting to see how the likes of Werner and Havertz fare.
Brighton are a physically dominant side and they are not going to make it easy for the new arrivals. So while Chelsea fans will be expecting the new signings to justify their price tags from the get-go, things won't be that simple and, in fact, tonight could prove to be a real test of the newcomers' mental strength.
#4 Chelsea's shaky defence still remains the same
Though Chelsea have added Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell to the mix, neither of them are available for the game tonight. As such, Chelsea's shaky defence remains the same. On top of that, Cesar Azpilicueta only started training on Wednesday and tonight's game might come too soon for him.
Chelsea had the worst defensive record among the teams that finished on the top half of the Premier League table last season. Frank Lampard's side conceded 54 goals and had a goal difference of just +15.
To put things into perspective, Manchester United conceded only 36 goals and despite scoring three goals less than Chelsea in the 2019-20 season, they finished above Chelsea by a superior goal difference of +18.