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Graham Potter admits Chelsea could be without 2 key players for game against Brighton

Graham Potter is aiming to triumph over his former club on Saturday.
Graham Potter is aiming to triumph over his former club on Saturday.

Chelsea manager Graham Potter has claimed that Mateo Kovacic and Kalidou Koulibaly will be out for their Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion on October 29.

Kovacic, 28, was recently forced off with a calf injury during his team's 2-1 UEFA Champions League win over Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday (25 October). He has made 13 appearances in the ongoing season, netting one goal and contributing one assist in the process.

Koulibaly, on the other hand, has missed the Blues' last two matches with a knee issue. He has made 11 appearances across all competitions for the west London outfit so far, with five coming under Potter.

🔵 The knee injury Kalidou Koulibaly suffered is not a serious injury @VaiBhardwaj provides some good news for Chelsea fans ✅ https://t.co/h5OZP2dEYK

During a pre-match press conference, Potter was asked about the availability of his players. He responded (via football.london):

"[It's] pretty much the same as we were against Salzburg. Mateo's calf more fatigue, Koulibaly is an outside chance for Wednesday."

When asked about his feelings ahead of his much-anticipated return to the Amex Stadium in East Sussex on Saturday (29 October), Potter said:

"Sometimes, life throws you opportunity and you have to take them or not. Timing wasn't great for anybody and sometimes that happens. The decision to work here was too good to turn down. I don't have expectations of the crowd, most people I've spoken to from Brighton have been supportive but I'm not naive, that's not universal."

Chelsea are currently on a five-match unbeaten run in the Premier League under Potter. The Blues will hope to extend their streak to climb up from fifth position in the 2022-23 Premier League table.

Potter on being undefeated as Chelsea manager and Brighton having not won since he left: "The difference is luck, we've picked up the points and had luck. You have to say that, Brighton haven't had luck." #CFC

Paul Merson predicts outcome of upcoming Chelsea-Brighton clash

In his column for Sportskeeda, former Arsenal forward Paul Merson predicted a 2-1 victory for Chelsea over Brighton on Saturday. He wrote:

"Chelsea got a good result in the Champions League, and they played some good football as well. There was one move in that match where they moved from one end of the pitch to the other – wow! Had they scored, it would've been their best goal in a long time."

He shared his thoughts about the Seagulls, who are winless in five Premier League games under new manager Roberto de Zerbi. He added:

"Brighton played well against Manchester City last week, and I thought they would score their second goal at one point. They played out a 0-0 draw against Nottingham Forest before that, and they're very unreliable at the moment."

Merson backed the Blues to register their seventh Premier League win of the season due to their recent run of form. He concluded:

"I'm not sure how many changes Graham Potter will make this week, and the outcome will depend on whether his team can gel together. Chelsea are more solid at the moment and should be able to win this game."

Chelsea are unbeaten under Potter in all competitions and will look to maintain their streak against the Seagulls.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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