Chelsea make their much-anticipated return to Premier League action on Monday, as they take on Brighton and Hove Albion at the AMEX Stadium. With a wealth of new signings to contend with we run you through what you can expect from The Blues’s first game of the 2020/21 season.
Following a quite remarkable summer of spending Chelsea will line up as firm favourites for their clash with Brighton. £53 million signing Timo Werner will be particularly relishing the chance to face up against Graham Potter’s side. The German forward, who arrived from RB Leipzig this summer, opened the scoring in a friendly between the two sides last month.
It has been reported that neither Hakim Ziyech nor Ben Chilwell, who recently signed from Ajax and Leicester City respectively, will play any part against Brighton. Although Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz are said to both be in line to start. The latter having just come back from injury.
Midfielder Billy Gilmour remains a long-term absentee, whilst Mateo Kovacic is suspended following his dismissal in last season’s FA Cup final. Reece James also appears unlikely to start, with the young full-back suffering from injury whilst on international duty with the England U-21s.
Brighton are widely expected to set up with a three-man defence in order to utilise the progressive ball carrying and passing of Lewis Dunk, Dan Burn and Ben White. Adam Webster may also feature and he likewise possesses the same attributes as his defensive colleagues.
Brighton, meanwhile, have strengthened at the back with the acquisition of Joel Veltman from Ajax. He will be joined by returning loanee Ben White, who snubbed reported interest from Leeds United and Liverpool to sign a new four-year contract with The Seagulls. Florin Andone and Steven Alzate remain Brighton’s only injury concerns heading into the game.
Chelsea, however, are spoilt for choice both in terms of personnel and tactical fluidity and whether they decide to match Brighton in adopting a three-man defence will be one of the major talking points ahead of kick-off.
Despite never having beaten Chelsea in the Premier League, Brighton will take confidence from the fact that they’ve now held The Blues to two successive draws albeit with one coming in the aforementioned pre-season friendly.
With champions Liverpool to play the following week, it is imperative that Chelsea get off to a winning start on the south coast.
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