Chelsea travel to the Amex Stadium to take on Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League, as they aim to field a handful of fresh faces and start their campaign on the right note. Frank Lampard's side have splashed the cash in the ongoing transfer window on several new additions, with the Blues also looking to add more players to their squad in the coming weeks.
The likes of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, and Malang Sarr have all joined Chelsea this summer, as the Londoners flexed their financial muscle despite the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Graham Potter will also be eager to build on the Seagulls' 15th place finish last season and has been boosted by the arrivals of Adam Lallana and Joel Veltman, while Ben White and Lewis Dunk have signed new deals at the club.
The game promises to be an intriguing contest between two bright young managers who believe in a brand of free-flowing attacking football, as the two sides prepare to battle it out on the south coast of England.
Brighton vs Chelsea Head to Head
Brighton are yet to beat Chelsea in the Premier League era and have won just one game against the Blues in their history, a 2-1 triumph in the FA Cup in January 1933.
In six meetings between the two sides since Brighton's promotion in 2017, Chelsea have recorded four victories, while two games in that period ended in draws.
The corresponding fixture last season produced one of the goals of the season, as Iranian international Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored a late overhead kick to level the game for the Seagulls in a 1-1 draw.
Brighton vs Chelsea Team News
Jose Izquierdo and Florin Andone are long-term absentees and will be missing once again. Dutch midfielder Davy Propper is also struggling with an Achilles problem and faces a race against time to prove his fitness for the game. With Aaron Mooy leaving the club in the ongoing transfer window, it remains to be seen who starts in the centre of the park for Brighton.
Steven Alzate could partner Yves Bissouma in central midfield, while Adam Lallana will also look to make his competitive debut for the club. The Seagulls, however, are stacked at the back and could line up with a 3-5-2 to suit their strengths.
Injuries: Jose Izquierdo, Florin Andone
Doubtful: Davy Propper
Frank Lampard has a handful of fitness issues to address ahead of Chelsea's Premier League opener. New signings Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell have been ruled out of the game, while Thiago Silva is yet to start training with his new club and will, therefore, be unavailable.
The Englishman must also make a decision on the goalkeeping department, with both Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero blowing hot and cold in the past 12 months. The Blues, however, are working on a deal to sign Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and are expected to complete the capture of the Senegalese star in the coming weeks.
In midfield, Jorginho looks set to partner N'Golo Kante due to Mateo Kovacic's unavailability, as the Croatian midfielder was sent off in Chelsea's defeat in the FA Cup final against Arsenal. Kai Havertz could also be in line for a start, while the trip to the Amex Stadium could come too soon for Christian Pulisic.
New signing Timo Werner looks set to lead the line for the Blues and will be keen to make an impression after his big-money move from RB Leipzig this summer.
Injuries: Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech
Doubtful: Christian Pulisic
Suspensions: Mateo Kovacic
Brighton vs Chelsea Predicted XIs
Brighton Predicted XI (3-5-2): Mat Ryan; Ben White, Lewis Dunk, Dan Burn; Tariq Lamptey, Yves Bissouma, Steven Alzate, Adam Lallana, Solly March; Leandro Trossard, Neal Maupay
Chelsea Predicted XI (4-3-3): Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso; N'Golo Kante, Jorginho, Kai Havertz; Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi
Brighton vs Chelsea Prediction
Chelsea's new boys might take some time to hit the ground running, while their backline is essentially the same as the one they fielded last season. Brighton will look to make home advantage count and record a positive result, having secured a 1-1 draw against the Blues in a friendly earlier this month.
The Seagulls are a settled unit and could take advantage of Chelsea's defensive frailties if they are at the top of their game.
Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Chelsea
Published 13 Sep 2020, 17:37 IST