MX23RW : Tuesday, September 28 19:44:36| >> :60:2747:2747:
Jan 1, 2020 at 12.30pm UK at Falmer Stadium
Attendance: 30,559
BrightonBrighton & Hove Albion
FT(HT: 0-1)

Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of the Premier League game between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea on New Year's Day.

Chelsea make the trip to the Amex Stadium to face Brighton & Hove Albion on New Year's Day looking to strengthen their grip on fourth position in the Premier League standings.

Meanwhile, the Seagulls head into the contest having moved five points clear of the relegation zone courtesy of a 2-0 triumph over Bournemouth at the weekend.

Match preview

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard pictured on November 2, 2019© Reuters

While Chelsea have been hampered by their lack of consistency since the arrival of Frank Lampard, the presence of the club legend has also played a pivotal part in the team's ability to frequently bounce back from setbacks with significant wins.

During a period where they have lost at home to Bournemouth and Southampton without troubling the scoresheet, Chelsea have recorded maximum points at the grounds of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

To some degree, witnessing his players perform with class against Spurs and sheer desire versus the Gunners will frustrate Lampard, who did not hide his disappointment after the previous defeats at Stamford Bridge.

Nevertheless, the Englishman will at least feel optimistic for the future as the club look to close the gap on second and third place, while also defending their hold on fourth position.

While achieving Champions League football for next season has become the natural priority target, Lampard will feel that this side is capable of more if they can maintain a high level over a prolonged period.

Chelsea's Jorginho celebrates scoring their first goal against Ajax on November 5, 2019© Reuters

Most of the attention this season has been focused on a misfiring backline and a youthful attack, but Jorginho reiterated his importance to the team and squad in general at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Despite the Italian being fortunate to remain on the pitch during the closing stages, his presence after his introduction settled the Blues down at a time when their opponents could have effectively ended the game as a contest.

The performance creates a selection dilemma for Lampard going forward, although it is one which he will like having when no-one in his squad is producing the consistency he is demanding.

Chelsea travel to the south coast having now won seven of their 10 away matches in this season's Premier League, although that record will not intimidate Graham Potter's Brighton squad.

While the Seagulls have only registered four wins at the Amex Stadium from 10 attempts, their style of play has regularly caused problems for their opponents this season, regardless of their position in the table.

Brighton boss Graham Potter on September 28, 2019© Reuters

That said, Brighton desperately needed their success against Bournemouth at the weekend after falling to within a defeat of being pulled into the bottom three.

There is the perception that Brighton are a team on the up under Potter, something which may be the case, but a four-match winless streak had highlighted the need for results over displays which are easy on the eye.

The manner of the victory over the Cherries delivered both of those aspects, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Aaron Mooy scoring brilliantly-taken individual goals to get off the mark for the season.

With more breathing space to work with, Potter will now hope that his players can replicate that performance four days later against Chelsea, who outplayed them at Stamford Bridge earlier in the campaign.

There is also the added motivation of trying to record back-to-back Premier League wins for just the second time this season - something which has not been achieved since the start of November.

Given that Chelsea have also not put together successive triumphs since October 26, the opportunity is there to get another three points on the board, which would ultimately leave Brighton not far away from the top 10.

Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form: WDDLLW

Chelsea Premier League form: WLLWLW
Chelsea form (all competitions): LWLWLW

Team News

Callum Hudson-Odoi in action for Chelsea on April 3, 2019© Reuters

While Lampard is expected to switch back to four in defence, the Chelsea boss is also likely to make changes in personnel due to the short turnaround.

With Christian Pulisic struggling with a tight hamstring, Callum Hudson-Odoi is in line to replace either Mason Mount or Willian.

Despite being withdrawn before the break at the Emirates Stadium, Emerson Palmieri may remain at left-back due to fitness concerns over Reece James and Marcos Alonso.

Jorginho is a likely starter in a midfield three, leaving Lampard to decide who to drop out of Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori.

As for Brighton, they have had an extra day's rest, meaning that Potter could opt to keep the same starting lineup.

That would leave Dale Stephens and Pascal Gross having to make do with a place on the substitutes' bench.

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Burn; Bissouma, Propper; Trossard, Mooy, Jahanbakhsh; Maupay

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Zouma, Palmieri; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic; Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham

Head To Head

Wednesday's meeting will represent just the 14th competitive clash between the clubs, with Chelsea registering 11 wins in comparison to just one victory for Brighton.

Remarkably, starting in 1967, Chelsea's wins have all come in succession, including five which have been played in the Premier League since December 2017.

Brighton's one and only success against the Blues came in their first-ever encounter in 1933.

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We say: Brighton & Hove Albion 2-2 Chelsea

This has all the makings of an entertaining tussle, with Brighton strong in front of their own supporters and Chelsea remaining unpredictable, regardless of whether they are playing home or away. We feel that there is every chance of this contest ending level after a late goal.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action for Arsenal on October 6, 2019
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2Manchester CityMan City64111211113
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11Tottenham HotspurSpurs630349-59
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