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Premier League | Gameweek 34
May 15, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
The American Express Community Stadium

1 - 2

Welbeck (90+7')
Dunk (29'), Verbruggen (81')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Palmer (34'), Nkunku (64')
Sterling (77'), Caicedo (79')
James (88')

Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Chelsea - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

A reinvigorated Chelsea side vying for a return to continental football travel to a Brighton & Hove Albion team mourning their own European aspirations in Wednesday's Premier League contest.

The Blues emerged triumphant 3-2 from a topsy-turvy affair with Nottingham Forest over the weekend, while the Seagulls were pegged back in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United.

Match preview

Continuing their alarming trend of failing to score more than once in a game - a sequence which now stands at a staggering 14 matches in all competitions - Brighton were briefly in the ascendancy at St James' Park on Saturday, where Joel Veltman bundled in the opener before trudging off with an injury.

Funnily enough, Newcastle's leveller on the stroke of half time came via an attack down Brighton's right flank after the Dutchman was withdrawn for Tariq Lamptey, as Elliot Anderson's cutback was perfectly placed for Sean Longstaff to tap in the match's second and final goal.

Neither side had anything to write home about in a second half bereft of star quality in the final third, and while Roberto De Zerbi's side managed to put a dent in Newcastle's European aspirations in the North East, the 10th-placed Seagulls now have nothing significant left to play for.

Lying smack-bang in mid-table mediocrity, Brighton can only finish as high as eighth - and even that hinges on them taking maximum points off of Manchester United on the final day - but it has now been almost three months since the hosts notched multiple goals in a single 90-minute affair.

Whether De Zerbi will still be on the South Coast in 2024-25 is another question entirely - Bayern Munich are supposedly still pushing to bring him to Germany - but his immediate task at hand for Brighton's penultimate game of the season is achieving back-to-back home wins in the league for the first time since September.

Coincidentally, Chelsea make the trip to the Amex Stadium seeking successive Premier League victories on the road for the first time in 2024, having cruelly denied Nottingham Forest the chance to rubber-stamp their top-flight status at the City Ground on Saturday evening.

Callum Hudson-Odoi would seemingly have the last laugh against his former club after earlier efforts from Mykhaylo Mudryk and Willy Boly, but a fine Raheem Sterling finish and 14th Premier League goal of the season for Nicolas Jackson completed a striking late turnaround for the Blues.

The Senegalese striker made an immediate beeline for the elated travelling crowd before Mauricio Pochettino's rejuvenated crop saw out their third straight Premier League success, one that puts them firmly in control of the race for seventh and has them trailing Newcastle only on goal difference.

Of course, should the rankings stay as they are, eighth-placed Manchester United can scupper Chelsea's European dreams by winning the FA Cup, but optimism is growing for the 2024-25 term under Pochettino, as talk of the sack has quietened significantly in recent weeks.

A 15-game run without a clean sheet in Premier League away games remains an unwelcome blot on the Pochettino notebook, though, and they were given a rude awakening in a 4-1 trouncing in this fixture last season, but December's Stamford Bridge showdown ended in a 3-2 triumph for the West London giants.

Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League form:

Chelsea Premier League form:

Chelsea form (all competitions):

Team News

Just 22 minutes after breaking the deadlock at St James' Park, Brighton defender Veltman had to be withdrawn due to a knock; he was able to conduct his post-match media duties, but De Zerbi has confirmed that he will not be involved on Wednesday.

Julio Enciso - who put in a lively but wasteful performance on Saturday - is in the same boat, but Joao Pedro's ankle problem has settled down, meaning that he should be available again.

Solly March (knee), Kaoru Mitoma (back), Jack Hinshelwood (foot), Pervis Estupinan (ankle), James Milner (thigh), Evan Ferguson (ankle) and Jan Paul van Hecke (thigh) will miss the last midweek game of the season, and Veltman's concern should see Lamptey start against the team he represented for 12 years, albeit while making just three senior appearances.

No longer working around their devastating 14-man injury crisis, Chelsea's bench had a much more senior feel to it against Forest, as Lesley Ugochukwu and captain Reece James - who came on for an 11-minute cameo in the second half - were both back at Pochettino's disposal.

Knee victims Ben Chilwell and Carney Chukwuemeka are also back in full training and could be involved, meaning that the Blues are only nursing Robert Sanchez (illness), Romeo Lavia (thigh), Wesley Fofana (knee) and Enzo Fernandez (hernia) back to full health.

Returning players coupled with a tight turnaround should be a recipe for rotation from Pochettino, as Sterling, Malo Gusto and Axel Disasi stick their hands up for recalls, but the Argentine will likely refrain from throwing the injury-plagued James back into the first XI.

Brighton & Hove Albion possible starting lineup:
Verbruggen; Lamptey, Dunk, Webster, Igor; Gilmour, Gross; Adingra, Pedro, Fati; Welbeck

Chelsea possible starting lineup:
Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Badiashile, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Sterling, Palmer, Mudryk; Jackson

We say: Brighton & Hove Albion 0-2 Chelsea

While Chelsea can never normally be relied upon to bolt the back door shut on the road, Brighton's toothlessness in attack has plagued them for a matter of months now, and only Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal have won more Premier League points than Chelsea in 2024.

Consequently, we have complete faith in Pochettino - who can also call upon some more fresh legs - to mastermind a fourth straight win for the Blues, keeping them firmly in the top-six race right until the last.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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