?Chelsea host Brighton at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day. A win for the home side would potentially bring them level on points with second place Manchester United.
In regards to last campaign, it has been a somewhat disappointing start for the Blues this season. Defeats to Burnley and Crystal Palace, along other lacklustre performances against the lower sides, have seen Chelsea come under some criticism this campaign. Unlike last season, the Chelsea starting eleven has changed regularly, while extra fixtures have meant that preparation for games has been more limited.
As for the visitors, the Seagulls have been impressive this season. Their defensive power, along with the creativity of Pascal Gross has meant that they currently sit in 12th. A win against Chelsea might be a bit of a stretch on Boxing Day, however a draw against the Blues is more than likely, especially with the defensive organisation of the Seagulls.
Morata vs Duffy
Alvaro Morata has scored nine times in the league this season. Without the Spaniard in the side, the Blues have looked lost at times. After serving a suspension the ex-Real Madrid man is back and will be certainly raring to go come kick off.
Shane Duffy has been in great form this season, and has seemed to relish his battles against the Premier Leagues best strikers. The Irishman will definitely be looking forward to his upcoming clash against Morata on Tuesday, and if the ex-Everton man is successful, his side could well leave Stamford Bridge with a point.
Kante vs Stephens
N’Golo Kante has been his usual self this season, and will be looking to once again control the midfield against the Seagulls on Boxing Day.
Dale Stephens has impressed this season. His ability to control the tempo of a game and his accuracy in passing has gained many admirers. If given the time against Chelsea, Stephens could take control of the entire game, however it doesn’t seem likely as Kante is an expert in not allowing his opponents time and space.
After serving a suspension Morata is set to return up front.
Izzy Brown is ineligible to play, as he is on loan from Chelsea. Steven Sidwell is out as well, due to a back injury.
Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois – Rudiger, A
A Chelsea win is on the cards. Despite the defensive prowess that the Seagulls possess, the attacking threat that Chelsea have will prove to be too much and a comfortable win is likely for the Blues.
Chelsea 3-0 Brighton