Last game of 2021!
Chelsea welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night for MW 20 of the Premier League season. This will be the final game of 2021 for Chelsea as we head into the New Year on the weekend. Brighton sit 10th in the Premier League with 5 wins 8 draws and 4 defeats and have 2 games in hand. Brighton started the season well winning four of their first five games but have since played 12, drawn 8, lost 3, and won 1. It’s clear to see that the lack of scoring that plagued them last season has come back to haunt them this season again. Still to be 10th midway through the season isn’t a bad feat. Some of their draws came against the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal while a heavy loss came against Man City.
Chelsea go into this game sitting 3rd in the table, level on points with Liverpool who will play on Tuesday night and also have a game in hand. We also sit 6 points behind Man City who are showing their usual level of consistency at this stage in the season. The win at the weekend against Villa was a massive one given the upcoming games and recent form and this is another important game. January is going to be a tough month with games against Liverpool, Man City, and Spurs all squeezed along with a two legged tie against Spurs in the Carabao Cup and a game against Chesterfield. It’s safe to say that barring Chesterfield we will have a tough month ahead. Brighton then is an opportunity for Tuchel and co to stay in the title race and go into January with a fighting chance. Villa also saw the return of Lukaku and his impact in the 2nd half was probably the most encouraging sign. Hopefully he can continue that against Brighton.
Chelsea Team Preview
The team news is rather unknown given that Tuchel did not have a pre match press conference. Chilwell we have found out will need to go through with the surgery on his knee and will be out till next season. This is a major blow and will probably see Chelsea dive into he market in January. Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Loftus-Cheek could be back but that is unknown. Silva, and Kante walked off with injuries and I doubt they will play a part in this game. Chalobah came off at half time but should be fit. Mendy should start in goal with a back three of Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger. Reece James, and Alonso should start as the wing backs with a midfield of Kovacic, and Jorginho. Hudson-Odoi, and Mount should start behind Lukaku. Hudson-Odoi did play the whole 90 against Villa and we could see Pulisic start at left wing instead of him. Ziyech etc could be back as well and Mount maybe rested the same can be said for Reece James as well. The point is that no one really knows who will play with games coming in quick succession and rotation needed. The game at the weekend also happens to be against Liverpool.
Brighton Team Preview
Brighton beat Brentford at the weekend to end a long run without a win. Potter is pretty fluid with his formation but I expect them to start with a back four in this game. Sanchez should be in goal with ex Chelsea player Lamptey and Cucurella making up the full backs. Both are very dangerous and pacy and Chelsea will have to be on their toes. Webster and Burn should be the centre backs. Lallana, Mwepu, and Mac Allister should make up the midfield with Moder, Maupay, and Trossard up front. Plenty of danger and pace in the team with the likes of Gross, Welbeck, Alzate, and March on the bench. Brighton are missing some key players like Bissouma, and Dunk while Duffy is also out.
Starting XI Prediction
Brighton are a good team and can cause problems if Chelsea show any lack of quality. With Lukaku on the pitch though I feel we will do well as long as we create the chances for him. Let’s enter 2022 on a high, COME ON CHELSEA!!!.