Excitement is in the air as a new-look Chelsea side begins their 2020-21 Premier League season away to Brighton.
Here are the best facts and stats so that you can make the best and most well-informed picks.
🏟 Match context
Chelsea has made up for lost time in the transfer window, splashing big money in areas which needed strengthening. Although Thiago Silva is unlikely to make the trip to Brighton, the ex-PSG man will be Frank Lampard's new leader at the back. Kai Havertz is a supremely-gifted attacking midfielder who Lampard might even see a bit of himself in, and Moroccan star Hakim Ziyech will provide creativity from wide areas. Callum Hudson-Odoi is in for a rare start though, with Ziyech nursing a minor knee problem. Then there's Timo Werner, a man who scored 28 goals in the Bundesliga last season for RB Leipzig.
Brighton has lost Australian midfield schemer Aaron Mooy, their primary playmaker, and replaced him with experienced ex-Liverpool man Adam Lallana. The Englishman's experience and technical quality will be a welcome addition for Seagulls boss Graham Potter, who will demand that his side produce more chances for Neil Maupay upfront.
Just 36% of Brighton's home games last season went over 2.5 goals but, it's worth noting that four of their last five at home in 2019-20 went over that mark. Three of those four games were heavy defeats against Man Utd, Liverpool and Man City, evidence that they struggle against the top sides in the division.
As for visitors Chelsea, 84% of their away games last season featured at least three goals. Chelsea's record against Brighton is almost perfect, with nine wins and a draw in ten head-to-heads, and although there's an element of the unknown with this new Blues side, they'll be keen to lay down an early marker.
🔮 Predicted XIs
🔵 Brighton (4-2-3-1):
Ryan; Veltman, White, Dunk, Burn; Bissouma, Propper; Gross, Lallana, Trossard; Maupay
⚫️ Chelsea (4-3-3):
Kepa; James, Rüdiger, Zouma, Alonso; Kanté, Jorginho; Havertz, Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Werner
🗞 NEWS: Ben Chilwell, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva are all out, Mateo Kovacic is serving a one-match suspension and there are serious doubts over Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta's fitness.
🔑 Key stats
- Only Liverpool and Man City scored more than Chelsea's 69 EPL strikes in 2019-20.
- However, their 54 goals conceded (1.42 on average per match) was Chelsea’s highest number since 1996-97 and the worst figure in the top ten.
- Chelsea has conceded at least twice in six of their last seven away matches in the EPL.
- Chelsea has scored at least two goals in 10 of their last 12 EPL matches.
- Both teams have scored in 11 of Chelsea's last 13 matches away from Stamford Bridge.
- In their eight meetings with the eventual top four, the Seagulls conceded 23 goals.
- 84% of Chelsea's away games last season featured at least three goals.
✅ Futaa tips
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