Worries over injuries as Chelsea plot Brighton’s downfall

[FILES] Stamford Bridge, the home ground of Chelsea football club, is pictured in west London

Brighton & Hove Albion pair Kaoru Mitoma and Adam Lallana are back in training and should be available to face Chelsea today.

Levi Colwill is ineligible to face his parent club, while Joel Veltman is a doubt because of a calf problem.

Chelsea head coach, Graham Potter, will return to his previous club without defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who remains sidelined by a knee injury.

Reece James, Wesley Fofana and N’Golo Kante are long-term absentees.

After five games in charge, Roberto de Zerbi is still waiting for his first win as Brighton boss.

That means he already had his predecessor, Graham Potter, looming over him – now he goes directly up against him on Potter’s first return to the club where he did such a good job.

In contrast, Potter is unbeaten after nine games with Chelsea.

Brighton was actually decent in the defeat against Manchester City last weekend. A lot of teams get rolled over by City, but the Seagulls took the game to them at times and they will do the same here.

Brighton has faced 109 different opponents in league games and beaten all of them except Chelsea (D4, L10).

The Seagulls have drawn four and lost 10 of their 14 league meetings with Chelsea.

On head-to-head, Chelsea is unbeaten in 17 matches against Brighton since a 2-1 FA Cup away defeat in their first meeting in January 1933 (W12, D5).

The Seagulls haven’t led in any of the 10 Premier League meetings.

However, four of the five most recent encounters ended in a draw.

Brighton has only earned two points from their past five league fixtures. Leeds is the sole top-flight club with a worse record over that period.

Roberto de Zerbi could become the first permanent manager in seven years to go six games without a win from the start of his Premier League career. Remi Garde had to wait for 10 matches for his first victory at Aston Villa in 2015-16.

Brighton is one short of 100 top-flight wins.

They are one of just three sides yet to concede in the final 15 minutes of a Premier League game this season, along with Arsenal and Southampton.

Chelsea is unbeaten in all nine competitive matches under Graham Potter, winning six. The Blues have gone six league games without defeat, with two draws following four straight wins.

On each of the last three occasions Chelsea had a six-match unbeaten top-flight run, but they lost their next league fixture.

Potter spent three full seasons as Brighton & Hove Albion head coach and guided the club to its highest-ever top-flight finish of ninth in 2021-22.

Raheem Sterling is one short of 50 Premier League away goals. He is the only player to score a top-flight hat-trick at Amex Stadium, in Manchester City’s 5-0 win in July 2020.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has gone five Premier League appearances without a goal versus Brighton.

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