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Chelsea logo
Premier League | Gameweek 14
Dec 3, 2023 at 2pm UK
Stamford Bridge
Brighton logo
Chelsea
3 - 2
Brighton
Fernandez (17', 65' pen.), Colwill (21')
Gallagher (31'), Badiashile (52'), Fernandez (59'), Sanchez (88')
Gallagher (45')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Buonanotte (43'), Pedro (90+2')
Hinshelwood (45+6'), Julio (58'), Gross (64'), Milner (64'), Pedro (90+14')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A relentless December schedule commences on Sunday for Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion, who square off at Stamford Bridge in an intriguing Premier League encounter.

The Blues were subjected to a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Newcastle United last weekend, while Roberto De Zerbi's men are into the Europa League knockout rounds thanks to a 1-0 beating of AEK Athens on Thursday.


Match preview

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured on November 12, 2023© Reuters

Newcastle's injury-hit XI may have a decimated feel to it heading into the winter months, but it was Chelsea who were torn to shreds during last weekend's battle in the North East, where a sumptuous Raheem Sterling free kick had initially cancelled out an Alexander Isak opener.

Chelsea's respite only lasted until the hour mark, though, as Jamaal Lascelles and Joelinton - who capitalised on a defensive blunder from Thiago Silva - struck twice in the space of two minutes for the Magpies, before Anthony Gordon put the cherry on the icing on the cake.

With captain Reece James also being banished from the field for two bookable offences, a downcast Mauricio Pochettino - who watched on from the stands owing to a touchline ban - admitted that Chelsea's horror show was their "worst game" of the season so far, and the Blues are still unable to escape the indifference of mid-table.

Tenth place in the rankings is theirs with a third of the season gone, and Chelsea remain closer to the relegation zone than the Champions League spots points-wise, despite the defeat at St James' Park marking only their second loss from their last nine matches across all tournaments.

Achieving just one win from their last 14 Premier League home games - a 3-0 beating of newly-promoted Luton Town - is simply unacceptable for a club of Chelsea's calibre, and the Blues welcome Brighton to West London having amassed just two points from the last 15 on offer at Stamford Bridge, shipping 10 goals in the process.

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Roberto De Zerbi celebrates after the match on November 25, 2023© Reuters

Brighton could count themselves fortunate not to ship any goals themselves during Thursday's Europa League tie with AEK Athens, as a combination of the Greek giants' wastefulness and Bart Verbruggen in the Seagulls goal saw the visitors' clean sheet somehow remain intact.

While De Zerbi's backline earned their keep, Joao Pedro calmly stroked home a penalty at the other end of the field to prolong Brighton's maiden European adventure, as the Seagulls - who have a one-point gap to make up to Marseille - will at least be involved in a knockout round playoff tie a couple of months from now.

Success in the Europa League succeeded an equally nerve-wracking Premier League triumph over Nottingham Forest last weekend, which saw De Zerbi's team snap a dismal six-game winless streak in the top flight to remain in a healthy eighth position, within touching distance of Manchester United and Newcastle United.

With the Europa League often providing a safe haven for the ravaged Seagulls, De Zerbi's men will bring a seven-game unbeaten run to Stamford Bridge - including three wins from their last three on the road - and Brighton have now scored in 11 games in succession, albeit while also failing to keep a single clean sheet in the 2023-24 Premier League.

Chelsea were actually the last team to prevent De Zerbi's men from making the net bulge, prevailing 1-0 in September's EFL Cup third-round tie, but the Blues are winless in their last five Premier League meetings with Brighton, who spoiled Frank Lampard's Stamford Bridge homecoming with a 2-1 success in this fixture seven months ago.


Chelsea Premier League form:


Chelsea form (all competitions):


Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form:


Brighton & Hove Albion form (all competitions):


Team News

Chelsea's Reece James leaves the pitch after being shown a red card by referee Simon Hooper on November 25, 2023© Reuters

Only a few moments after James's dismissal at St James' Park, his fellow full-back Marc Cucurella picked up a milestone fifth yellow card of the campaign, denying the former Brighton man a reunion with his old employers as he also serves a one-game ban.

With two enforced defensive changes required, Pochettino will be desperate to have Malo Gusto back in the fold following a tendon injury - the Frenchman's chances of playing are thought to be slim, though - while Levi Colwill should get the nod over Ian Maatsen in place of Cucurella.

Wesley Fofana (knee), Lavia (ankle), Trevoh Chalobah (thigh), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee) and Ben Chilwell (thigh) are all set to miss out again, although Romeo Lavia (ankle) and Christopher Nkunku (knee) are closing in on belated competitive debuts, while a midfield recall awaits Moises Caicedo - another former Seagull - after he started on the bench against Newcastle.

De Zerbi and Pochettino can empathise over losing their captains to suspension, as Lewis Dunk received two yellow cards within a matter of seconds against Nottingham Forest for inexcusably using some choice words towards referee Anthony Taylor, incurring a two-game ban in the process.

Dunk joins Mahmoud Dahoud on the naughty step for the Chelsea clash as the midfielder serves the second of a three-game domestic suspension for his red card against Sheffield United, and given the visitors' perpetual injury crisis, 18-year-old Jack Hinshelwood may be required to step in at centre-back as James Milner deputises in a full-back role.

The luckless Seagulls lost both Tariq Lamptey and Ansu Fati to long-term thigh injuries against Nottingham Forest too, as the pair join Pervis Estupinan (thigh), Adam Webster (knock), Solly March (knee), Danny Welbeck and Julio Enciso - last season's match-winner at Stamford Bridge - in the infirmary.


Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Sanchez; Disasi, Silva, Badiashile, Colwill; Caicedo, Fernandez; Palmer, Gallagher, Sterling; Jackson

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Veltman, Hinshelwood, Igor, Milner; Gilmour, Gross; Adingra, Pedro, Mitoma; Ferguson


SM words green background

We say: Chelsea 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

As suspensions and injuries pile up on both sides, neither manager should witness their team at their free-flowing best on Sunday, where Brighton's streak of both scoring and conceding in Premier League games looks set to continue.

Home has not been where the heart is for Chelsea throughout 2023, but with an array of bright attacking options ready to capitalise on Brighton's defensive woes, we have faith in the Blues to right the wrongs of last weekend and make it back-to-back wins over De Zerbi's team.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Chelsea vs Brighton

Chelsea
65.8%
Draw
14.2%
Brighton & Hove Albion
20.0%
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