An injury and Covid-ravaged Chelsea host Brighton in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
The Blues will complete their ninth game, in three different competitions, only in December with the visit of Brighton.
Graham Potter’s Seagulls, on the other hand, have only played four games in the final month of the year as a result of a couple of launches during the hectic party season.
Here’s all you need to know about this upcoming clash.
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When is kick off? Wednesday 29 December, 19:30 (GMT)Where is the match played? Stamford BridgeTV channel / livestream? Amazon Prime Video (UK), Peacock Premium (USA), DAZN (Canada)Highlights? Sky Sports Football YouTubeJudge? Mike DeanWHERE? Kevin’s friend
N’Golo Kante struggles with injury / James Gill – Danehouse / GettyImages
Thomas Tuchel’s first dose of England’s famous and dreaded festive playlist has been a nightmare-like hell with injuries and positive Covid-19 tests around every turn.
N’Golo Kante suffered a recurrence of an injury he suffered against Juventus during this weekend’s win over Aston Villa. Thiago Silva was also forced off with a hamstring.
While Ruben Loftus-Cheek continues to recover from an ankle injury, it is unlikely that German duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner will join after being recently affected by the coronavirus. Ben Chilwell is now expected to miss the rest of the season as he needs surgery for his latest ACL problem.
You can read Chelsea’s expected line-up here.
Brighton captain Lewis Dunk has not appeared for the club since December 1 after suffering a knee injury / Matthew Ashton – AMA / GettyImages
Brighton’s first win since September against Brentford on the second day may have cost Potter the previously unbeaten Leandro Trossard. The Brighton boss revealed that his forward had a tight hoarding that will require a “last minute decision” on his availability.
Yves Bissouma has served his suspension on a game but Shane Duffy missed this weekend’s victory with suspect Covid-19. Joel Veltman is also hesitant as he recovers from muscle fatigue and captain Lewis Dunk joins Jeremy Sarmiento on the sidelines until 2022.
You can read Brighton’s expected line-up here.
To say that Chelsea’s record against Brighton is one-sided would be a gross understatement. The Blues have won 12 of the 16 meetings in their history with Brighton, losing only one – the first, as an FA Cup match in January 1933. Chelsea’s 12 unbeaten league games against Brighton (W10 D2) are the longest undefeated match the Blues enjoy against any page in their history.
However, Brighton ended a sequence of 11 straight defeats against Chelsea thanks to Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s 90th minute equalizer over the head on New Year’s Day 2020.
“It’s not fair,” Tuchel screamed in the wake of his team’s 3-1 win over Villa, a victory that was made even more remarkable – especially in the eyes of their managers – by the wide range of handicaps that besiege every team choice he makes.
If both teams were in full shape and fired, Chelsea would appear as comfortable favorites. But while stretched muscles and positive PCRs in west London have significantly narrowed the gap between the sides, Tuchel’s European champions are still the most likely winners.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Brighton
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