Chelsea host Brighton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night in the Premier League, looking to continue their streak of good fortune following their dramatic victory over Cardiff.
The Blues are sixth after the late 2-1 victory in Wales on Sunday evening, but Maurizio Sarri came in for more criticism from supporters regarding his squad selection for the match after leaving several stars, including Eden Hazard, on the bench.
Brighton are 15th place, just five points off the relegation zone, and are coming off a loss to Southampton in their previous match.
Check out 90min’s preview of the upcoming Premier League ?clash on Wednesday night.
Where to Watch
|?When Is Kick Off?||Wednesday 3 April|
|?What Time Is Kick Off?||19:45 (BST)|
|?Where Is it Played?||Stamford Bridge|
|?TV Channel/Live Stream?||N/A|
Chelsea will have a full complement of players heading into the match in midweek. Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored the late winner against Cardiff and will hope to be rewarded with a start on Wednesday.
Callum Hudson-Odoi may be gifted a rare start after sitting on the bench on Sunday, while Eden Hazard is expected to return to the starting XI.
Chris Hughton has confirmed Brighton will be without Pascal Gross due to a hamstring problem, but Florin Andone trained with the squad on Monday and may be fit in time.
However, Hughton may elect to rest some players, like top scorer Glenn Murray, ahead of the club’s FA Cup semi final against Manchester City on Saturday.
|?Chelsea||Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rudiger, Emerson; Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Kante; Willian, Higuain, Hazard.|
|Brighton||Ryan; Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bernardo; Propper, Stevens, Bissouma; Knockaert, Murray, Jahanbakhsh.|
Head to Head Record
Chelsea and Brighton have faced off sporadically since their first meeting in 1933. The sides have only played each other 11 times throughout their long histories with most of the matches coming in the FA Cup or League Division Two.
The Blues have taken home nine wins while Brighton’s only win came in the first matchup between the sides in the 1933 FA Cup. Only one match has ended in a draw between Chelsea and Brighton.
The first time the Premier League teams faced off this season ended in a 2-1 Chelsea win courtesy of goals from Eden Hazard and Pedro.
Brighton have been in decent form over the past month, winning three matches and dropping two to Southampton and Leicester City. During this stretch of games, the Seagulls managed to knock Millwall out of the FA Cup on penalties and set up their first semi final appearance since the 1982/83 season.
The Blues have been inconsistent in recent fixtures and avoided an embarrassing result against Cardiff in their first game back from the international break. The Blues had previously lost to Everton and drawn with Wolves and wins against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League are the only real quality results Chelsea have managed in their past five matches.
Here’s how each side has fared in their previous five games in all competitions.
|Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea (31/3)||?Brighton 1-0 Southampton (30/3)|
|Everton 2-0 Chelsea (17/3)||Millwall 2-2 Brighton (4-5 on Penalties) (17/3)|
|Dynamo Kiev 0-5 Chelsea (14/3)||Crystal Palace 1-2 Brighton (9/3)|
|?Chelsea 1-1 Wolves (10/3)||?Brighton 1-0 Huddersfield (2/3)|
|?Chelsea 3-0 Dynamo Kiev (7/3)||Leicester City 2-1 Brighton (26/2)|
Chelsea have come under serious fire following their narrow win against Cardiff on Sunday night. Supporters are not happy with the squad selection or the style of play and without some late heroics from Azpilicueta and Loftus-Cheek the Blues’ Champions League aspirations would have been heavily dented.
31 – Only Man Utd (34) have scored more offside goals than Chelsea in Premier League history. Margins.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 1, 2019
Brighton have enjoyed a decent run of form of late but will be looking toward their semi-final clash with Manchester City at the weekend. If manager Chris Hughton decides to rest some key players in the match at Stamford Bridge it will be tough for the Seagulls to find the goals to defeat this Chelsea side.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Brighton