Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 8/13
Really breaking the bank this summer, Chelsea will open their Premier League campaign when they travel to an empty Amex on Monday night.
Starting with the hosts, after managing to hold onto their Premier League status after returning from football’s enforced break, Brighton are hoping for a more stable time of things this time around. Managing to squeeze in just a pair of pre-season draws against West Brom and Monday’s guests in the build-up to the New Year, Head Coach Graham Potter will be desperate for his side to find some much-needed stability on home soil. While they might have managed to sign off the extended 2019/2020 campaign with a 2-1 win away at Burnley, the one-time Swansea boss saw his side win just a pair of their final eight top-flight appearances. Last seen at the Amex on Premier League duties playing out what was a sluggish 0-0 draw against Newcastle, Brighton managed to pick up just a single point over their final four contests on the South Coast. Even more worrying for the Seagulls, Monday’s hosts recorded just a single strike in over 400 minutes of action on home soil.
Brighton’s new signing Adam Lallana will be looking for his first Premier League start since December 2019.
Jose Izquiedero and Christian Walton are Albion’s only injury absentees.
As for the visitors, splashing the cash this summer and bringing a host of superstars to West London, there is no doubt that Chelsea will be looking to open the new campaign with a statement. However, while Frank Lampard’s side might have managed to clinch a top-four finish in what was the former England midfielder’s maiden year at Stamford Bridge, they were showing some cause for concern earlier in the summer. While they might have managed to sign off the extended 2019/2020 campaign with a crucial 2-0 win against Wolves, Chelsea watched Arsenal come from behind to lift the FA Cup at Wembley last month and also saw their morale take a real blow thanks to a 4-1 drumming at the hands of Bayern Munich. If the Londoners are to get off to a flying start on Monday, Lampard will be hoping for Timo Werner to open his Premier League account on the South Coast. It should also be noted, making his Blues debut in their 1-1 draw at the Amex last month, the former RB Leipzig striker bagged Chelsea’s only strike.
Chelsea’s expensive German signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner are in line for their debuts.
Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell are injured and Thiago Silva lacks fitness, but Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta have overcome hamstring problems.
Key Factors to Consider
- Including a 1-1 draw in their pre-season contest last month, Chelsea and Brighton have now played out back-to-back stalemates.
- Brighton managed to score just a single goal at the Amex in over 400 minutes of action when signing off the 2019/2020 campaign.
- Each of Chelsea’s last seven Premier League matchups away from Stamford Bridge saw over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.
- The Seagulls managed to win just a pair of their final eight top-flight contests last season.
- They also failed to score more than a single goal in eight of their last nine Premier League appearances on home soil.
While Chelsea might have shown some real issues earlier in the summer, Frank Lampard’s new-look squad should be looking to lay down a real marker on Monday night. Breaking the bank and some branding them as a potential dark horse this time around, the Blues should be confident of coming past a Brighton side who had continued to show their own issues on home soil. Collecting just a single point over their final four Premier League contests at the Amex, a run that saw them hit with 5-0 and 3-0 drumming at the hands of both Manchester clubs, we’re backing Monday’s guests to open the New Year in some style on the South Coast.
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 8/13
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