Brighton Vs Chelsea Match Preview (1 Viewer)

MartinGee

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Chelsea, eager to get back into European competitions, are set to face Brighton & Hove Albion, a team grappling with the disappointment of missing out on their own European dreams, in Wednesday's Premier League match.

Chelsea is riding high after a thrilling 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest this past weekend. On the other hand, Brighton managed only a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United. Brighton's struggle to score more than once in a game continues, a frustrating streak that has now reached 14 matches across all competitions. They had a brief moment of hope at St James' Park on Saturday when Joel Veltman scored the opener, but he then had to leave the game due to injury.

Newcastle equalized just before halftime, exploiting the right side of Brighton's defense after Veltman's exit. Elliot Anderson's cutback set up Sean Longstaff to score the tying goal. The second half saw neither team making a significant impact, and while Brighton did dent Newcastle's European ambitions, they themselves are now languishing in 10th place with little left to fight for this season.

Brighton can only climb as high as eighth place, and even that slim chance depends on winning their last match against Manchester United. It's been nearly three months since Brighton scored multiple goals in a single match, adding to their woes. Speculation about manager Roberto De Zerbi's future persists, with Bayern Munich reportedly interested in bringing him on board. For now, De Zerbi aims to secure consecutive home wins in the league for the first time since September.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are looking to win two away Premier League games in a row for the first time in 2024. Their dramatic comeback victory over Nottingham Forest, featuring goals from Mykhaylo Mudryk, Willy Boly, Raheem Sterling, and Nicolas Jackson, has boosted their spirits. Jackson's goal, his 14th of the Premier League season, particularly delighted the traveling fans and helped Chelsea achieve their third consecutive league win, putting them in a strong position for seventh place, trailing Newcastle only on goal difference.

However, Chelsea's European hopes could still be dashed if eighth-placed Manchester United win the FA Cup. Despite this uncertainty, there's growing optimism for the next season under manager Mauricio Pochettino, as speculation about his job security has faded.

Chelsea still have issues to address, including a 15-game run without a clean sheet in away league games. Last season, they suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat in this fixture, although they did manage a 3-2 victory over Brighton at Stamford Bridge in December.

INJURIES & SUSPENSION​

Just 22 minutes after giving Brighton the lead at St James' Park, defender Joel Veltman had to come off due to an injury. While he was able to handle his post-match media duties, coach Roberto De Zerbi has confirmed Veltman won't be playing on Wednesday.

Julio Enciso, who had an energetic but inefficient game on Saturday, is also out. However, Joao Pedro's ankle has improved, so he should be available.

Brighton will be missing several key players for their last midweek game of the season, including Solly March (knee), Kaoru Mitoma (back), Jack Hinshelwood (foot), Pervis Estupinan (ankle), James Milner (thigh), Evan Ferguson (ankle), and Jan Paul van Hecke (thigh). With Veltman out, Tariq Lamptey is expected to start against his former club, Chelsea, where he spent 12 years but made only three senior appearances.

Chelsea, no longer plagued by their earlier injury crisis, had a stronger bench against Forest. Lesley Ugochukwu and captain Reece James, who made a brief appearance in the second half, are back and available for selection.

Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka, both recovering from knee injuries, have returned to full training and might feature in the upcoming match. This leaves Chelsea with only Robert Sanchez (illness), Romeo Lavia (thigh), Wesley Fofana (knee), and Enzo Fernandez (hernia) still sidelined.

With players returning and a busy schedule, coach Mauricio Pochettino is likely to rotate the squad. Raheem Sterling, Malo Gusto, and Axel Disasi are pushing for starting spots, but Pochettino will probably avoid rushing Reece James back into the first XI due to his recent injuries.

POSSIBLE LINE-UPS​

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Lamptey, Dunk, Webster, Igor; Gilmour, Gross; Adingra, Pedro, Fati; Welbeck

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Badiashile, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Sterling, Palmer, Mudryk; Jackson

EXPERT PREDICTION​

Brighton 1-2 Chelsea

Chelsea have struggled to keep clean sheets on the road, but Brighton's scoring troubles have persisted for months. In 2024, only Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal have earned more Premier League points than Chelsea.

Given this, we’re confident that Pochettino, with the advantage of fresh legs, will lead Chelsea to their fourth consecutive win, keeping them firmly in the race for a top-six finish until the very end.
 

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