Venue: Amex Stadium
Kick off: 2:30PM
Brighton & Hove Albion host Chelsea at the Amex Stadium this afternoon in what is both sides’ penultimate Premier League outing before Christmas.
The visitors go into the game off the back of a 2-0 victory over champions Manchester City last weekend, while Brighton have also impressed this season and sit comfortably clear of the relegation zone approaching the halfway point of the campaign.
Brighton boss Chris Hughton will go into the festive period satisfied with how the 2018-19 campaign is going so far, with his side sitting relatively pretty in 13th place and already more than halfway to the 40-point mark.
Eleven points separate them from the relegation zone, whereas that gap was only four at the same stage of last season, when Brighton went on to beat the drop relatively comfortably.
It was their home form which kept them in the division in 2017-18 – they would have finished bottom had only away form counted – and the same is true so far this campaign with Hughton having turned the Amex into something of a fortress.
Tottenham Hotspur are the only visiting team to have won there in the Premier League so far this term, and the Seagulls have now lost just one of their last 10 including the tail end of last season.
Brighton are averaging two points per game in front of their own fans, and even their usual goalscoring troubles seem to go out of the window for home matches having only failed to score in one of their last 14 in the league.
It is a record which may be challenged in the coming weeks, though, as Brighton’s next four home league games all come against teams currently in the top seven – Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool.
The Seagulls have only suffered five home league defeats in total since their promotion in 2017, but four of those have come at the hands of members of the ‘big six’, so they will need to buck that trend if they are to pull off a surprise result today.
Brighton possible XI: Ryan, Bruno, Balogun, Dunk, Bernardo, Gross, Propper, Bissouma, Knockaert, Murray, March.
Chelsea possible XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso, Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Hazard, Willian.