Brighton vs Chelsea
Venue: The American Express Community Stadium
Kick off: 1:30PM
Chelsea will attempt to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they visit Brighton & Hove Albion this afternoon.
The Blues have drawn their last two in the league to drop down to fourth position, but they will be confident of overcoming a Brighton team that are currently on a four-game winless run in the top flight.
Brighton has certainly demonstrated that they can operate at this level of football, but the Seagulls are currently looking over their shoulders in the Premier League after dropping towards the bottom three in recent weeks.
Indeed, a total of 23 points from 23 matches has left Chris Hughton’s side in 16th position in the table – just three points clear of 18th-placed Stoke City.
They will enter this weekend’s match off the back of a four-game winless run in the Premier League, which will be a concern at this stage of the season.
Since beating Watford on December 23, Brighton have lost to Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion, in addition to drawing with Newcastle United and Bournemouth. Chelsea at home is a tough task, but Brighton’s next four are against Southampton, West Ham United, Stoke and Swansea City.
It will be their results against the teams around them that determines whether Brighton can avoid dropping straight back into the Championship.
The Seagulls have actually only lost twice on home soil this season, but just three wins has made it difficult to move up the Premier League table.
When considering that they have drawn eight of their 23 matches, Brighton are not too far away when it comes to the teams in the bottom half of the table.
There are realistically 10 teams that could drop out of the division this season, and it promises to be a fascinating battle towards the bottom of the division.
Chelsea have actually slipped to fourth spot in the table, but they are only three points off second-placed Manchester United.
That said, Tottenham Hotspur are just three points off the top four in fifth position, and it is going to be very interesting to see which teams miss out come the end of the season.
Chelsea have been strong on their travels this season – collecting 21 points from their 11 Premier League fixtures on the road.
That said, they have only been victorious in one of their last five away top-flight matches, and the goals have dried up in recent weeks due to the struggles of Alvaro Morata.
Conte’s side, however, will be confident of winning their next four Premier League games against Brighton, Bournemouth, Watford and West Bromwich Albion ahead of a trip to United at the end of next month.
Brighton possible XI: Ryan, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo, Gross, Murray.
Chelsea possible XI: Courtois, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, Moses, Fabregas, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso, Willian, Hazard.