Chelsea vs Brighton Match Preview

Pep Guardiola and Raheem Sterling Manchester City

Chelsea vs Brighton Match Preview

Chelsea will be looking to solidify their top-four credentials when they welcome Premier League newcomers Brighton to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.

Chelsea are strong favourites to win this match, they are rated at 1/6 by Paddy Power.

Still, Chelsea will want to at least catch Manchester United, who they are now three points behind.

"Brighton's first win in eight games, against Watford, has restored confidence". They now occupy 12th place on the table, a mere 5 points away from the relegation zone.

Defender David Luiz is still ruled out and midfielder Charly Musonda is absent because of a groin problem.

The Premier League champions will have club record signing and leading goalscorer Alvaro Morata back from suspension against the Seagulls.

Shane Duffy has been in great form this season, and has seemed to relish his battles against the Premier Leagues best strikers.

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Chelsea (3-4-3): Courtois - Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Christensen - Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso - Pedro, Morata, Hazard.

Dale Stephens has impressed this season. Pascal Groß is expected to play in a central attacking midfield role, while Glen Murray is expected to come into the squad and lead the line ahead of Tomer Hemed. Unlike last season, the Chelsea starting eleven has changed regularly, while extra fixtures have meant that preparation for games has been more limited.

Brighton manager Chris Hughton: "We go to Chelsea knowing in most people's minds it is hard to get a result there".

Brighton have failed to win a match on Boxing day in their last 8 attempts. Chelsea dominated the match but were wasteful with their numerous chances.

The Blues haven't been playing the most inspiring football of late and were held to a goalless draw by Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea have always aimed for the highest goals in the Premier League, and coming off their title-winning season, Antonio Conte's boys certainly held that goal again this term. It is very hard to make a case for the visitors pulling off an upset at Stamford Bridge. Brighton have got bigger games over Christmas than this and you will find some teams will rest players for bigger games. Brighton will take inspiration from the likes of Burnley and Crystal Palace and fancy themselves to come away from Stamford Bridge with a result.

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