Antonio Conte has not been a happy man lately. The Italian manager has been disappointed with his team’s mediocre results in the last few games. The players have been hit with fatigue and hence they have failed to bring their A-game to the table. Five successive draws, and even though they won via penalties against Norwich City, the performance was far from satisfactory. The EPL champions sit third on the table and will have to face Brighton & Hove Albion away from home. Chris Hughton’s men have shown that they are a strong defensive unit to break down and hence Conte’s men can expect a tough competition again this weekend.
Ross Barkley is yet to feature for his new team but he has reportedly been passed fit for the game against Brighton. Alvaro Morata and Pedro are suspended for the clash after both of them were sent off in the FA Cup clash against Norwich City. Antonio Conte has publicly warned his Chelsea players not to dive on the field of play and it remains to be seen how the manager’s tough words affect the squad. Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas will also miss out with a hamstring injury.
The ever-dependable Thibaut Courtois will start between the sticks for Chelsea. The Belgian’s performances have been overshadowed by his contract situation and the Blues would want to solve that soon.
Gary Cahill had limped off with a hamstring issue in the game against Leicester City and that paves the way for Antonio Rudiger to feature once again. Andreas Christensen has been impressive and consistent at the heart of the defence. His exceptional technical skills mean that he has been a revelation for Chelsea. Cesar Azpicueleta has been rock solid in his position, while he has regularly contributed to attack too.
Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses will start as the two wingbacks. Both of them can make use of their pace and trickery to find openings in the Brighton defence. Tiemoue Bakayako’s poor form can lead to his ouster from the starting XI. So, we can expect to see N’golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater team up at the centre of the park. Both of them are defensive midfielders and it will be interesting to see how they contribute to the attack.
Michy Batshuayi has a good opportunity to nail down a starting spot as Pedro and Morata are suspended for the clash. Batshuayi has been unable to make the most of his limited opportunities and this can be the perfect opportunity for the Belgian. Eden Hazard and Willian will play alongside him. Hazard has been sort of a lone warrior in the attack as the other players have failed to complement him in the final third. Maybe, Willian’s introduction could turn things around.