2 April 2019

Chelsea v. Brighton Preview  (Sky Sports)

Callum Hudson-OdoiCallum Hudson-Odoi could make his first Premier League start when Chelsea host Brighton on Wednesday, while Eden Hazard and N'Golo Kante are likely to return.

Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri is considering naming England winger Hudson-Odoi in his starting XI in one of the club's next two fixtures, with Kante and Hazard expected to come back into the starting XI having been rested at Cardiff on Sunday.

Left-back Marcos Alonso will miss the visit of the Seagulls due to a hamstring problem, which will keep him sidelined for a few days.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton is hopeful Florin Andone will be back in his squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Romania forward Andone has not featured since pulling out in the warm-up at Crystal Palace on March 9 due to a thigh problem but has returned to training.

Midfielder Pascal Gross, out since February 26 with a hamstring issue, remains unavailable.

Opta facts

Chelsea have won all seven of their league games against Brighton - only Wimbledon against Bournemouth (8/8) have a better 100% win record against an opponent in English Football League history.

Brighton have lost all four of their away games against Chelsea in all competitions, failing to score each time.

The Blues have won their last nine games in all competitions against Brighton, last winning 10 in a row against an opponent vs Bolton between 2008-2014.

Sarri's side have lost just one Premier League home game so far this season (vs Leicester in December), and have kept six clean sheets in their last nine at Stamford Bridge.

Brighton won their last away Premier League game (2-1 vs Crystal Palace), but haven't won consecutive league games on the road since November 2017. They have lost all nine of their Premier League away games against 'big six' sides, scoring just two goals in those matches.

Hughton's side have won just one of their 11 midweek Premier League games (D5 L5), winning 3-1 against Crystal Palace earlier this season.

Eden Hazard has been directly involved in four goals in his last two Premier League appearances against Brighton, scoring three and assisting another. Hazard has been directly involved in 14 of Chelsea's 29 Premier League goals at Stamford Bridge this season (8 goals, 6 assists), twice that of any other player at the club.

Glenn Murray has scored a Premier League goal on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday this season. He could become the first player since Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2016-17 to score on as many as six different days of the week in a single Premier League campaign.

Merson's predictions

It was a poor result for Brighton at home to Southampton on Saturday. The fact Cardiff lost was a real stroke of luck, but Chris Hughton and his side need to be careful.

At Chelsea, I'm not sure about the manager. He's lucky to be in charge. Neil Warnock can say Cardiff were unlucky, well Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea were lucky.

With the team he picked he'd have done well to keep his job had they lost at Cardiff. Then there were the substitutions and the fact Callum Hudson-Odoi didn't get on. He was very fortunate in the end. Despite all the negativity they should still have enough to beat Brighton at Stamford Bridge.


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