Chelsea: The XI That Should Start Against Brighton

?Fresh from their, let’s say, comfortable, 7-1 win against Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening, Chelsea now turn their attention back to the Premier League. 

The Blues face off against Brighton on Saturday as Frank Lampard’s boys look to bounce back from last weekend’s narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool.

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His heavily-rotated side dominated in midweek against League Two opposition, but Lampard may have some selection headaches to attend to nevertheless.

Here, 90min looks at how Chelsea should line up against the Seagulls on Saturday. 


Goalkeeper and Defenders

Fikayo Tomori

?Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – After Willy Caballero deputised for the Spaniard against Grimsby, Kepa should return between the sticks on Saturday. So far, the 24-year-old is yet to miss a single second of Premier League action this season.

Cesar Azpilicueta (RB) – Reece James was absolutely brilliant against Grimsby – registering a goal and an assist on his Chelsea debut – and it’s only a matter of time until the 19-year-old forces his way into the first team. For now though, Azpilicueta’s leadership and experience should see him keep his place.

Fikayo Tomori (CB) – Tomori stole the headlines against Wolves two weeks ago, scoring a long-range screamer that is a shoo-in for goal of the month. However, the 21-year-old has also impressed at the other end of the pitch, looking composed and assured at centre-back.

Kurt Zouma (CB) – Injuries have prevented Frank Lampard from settling on a centre-back partnership this season and this looks set to continue, with Andreas Christensen the latest Blues defender to pick up a knock against Liverpool. This means Kurt Zouma is likely to start alongside Tomori on Saturday. 

Marcos Alonso (LB) – Injury to Emerson has provided a route back into the first team for Marcos Alonso, after he was not selected for the Blues’ opening four Premier League games. Since returning to the fold, the Spaniard has been impressive – registering his first assist of the season against Wolves in a 5-2 win.


Midfielders

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?Jorginho (DM) – Jorginho more than held his own in an intriguing tactical battle with Fabinho last weekend, once again proving that the Italian deserves to be recognised as one of the league’s best midfielders. Brighton will need to continue their high-intensity pressing from previous weeks in order to prevent the immensely talented Chelsea lynchpin from controlling the game. 

N’Golo Kanté (CM) – Despite all the furore surrounding Maurizio Sarri’s deployment of Kanté in a more advanced midfield position last season, the Frenchman was again utilised in a box-to-box capacity by Frank Lampard against Liverpool. The 28-year-old was impressive as well, scoring a superb goal to get the Blues back into the game. Maybe Sarri was right all along?  

Mateo Kovacic (CM) – After facing accusations of being overly pedestrian on the ball last season, Kovacic has steamed out of the blocks with a point to prove this campaign. The Croatian has been far more expansive in his approach play and has already registered an assist, testament to the increased attacking freedom he has been afforded by his new manager. 


Forwards

Tammy Abraham

Willian (RW) – Willian is without a goal or an assist this season and needs to produce a big performance on Saturday to have any chance of keeping his place in the first team. Callum Hudson-Odoi returned from injury against Grimsby – scoring the Blues seventh goal – and the England international will surely replace the Brazilian sooner rather than later if he does not improve his form. 

Tammy Abraham (ST) – Abraham had a quiet game against Liverpool and spurned a big chance in the first half to level up the scores. Despite this, the 21-year-old still regularly tested the Reds defence with his intelligent movement, suggesting that he very much belongs at the highest level.  

Mason Mount (LW) – After defying the odds and returning from injury in time for the Liverpool game, Mount produced a somewhat subdued performance. He’ll be keen to bounce back against Brighton and add to the three goals he has scored already this season.


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