Two teams who are at opposite ends of the spending spectrum when it comes to the summer transfer window will duke it out on the south coast on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season, as penny-pinching Brighton welcome big-spending Chelsea to the Amex Stadium on Monday night.
Where and when: Amex Stadium – 14 September, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Brighton vs. Chelsea: Sky Sports
Last time: Alireza Jahanbakhsh scored a late equaliser for Brighton as these teams drew 1-1 at the Amex back in January, while that was also the score when the teams contested a pre-season friendly at the same ground a couple of weeks ago.
Brighton v Chelsea Predictions and Preview
January 1933. You have to go back the best part of a century to find Brighton’s last victory over Chelsea, when the Seagulls beat the Blues 2-1 in an FA Cup tie. Chelsea full-back George Barber scored for the Blues that day, and his position will be of real interest this weekend.
England international Ben Chilwell has moved to Stamford Bridge from Leicester City for a £50m fee, just one of a raft of stellar new signings Frank Lampard could hand a debut to on Monday night. Record buy Kai Havertz, German hotshot Timo Werner and former Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech could all feature in this game, along with veteran centre-back Thiago Silva.
There’s a lot of optimism around the Chelsea camp after Roman Abramovich opened his wallet in astonishing fashion, clearly giving Lampard a huge vote of confidence in the process ahead of his second season at the helm. Lampard had his young squad playing some good football last term, and the Blues will be expected to increase their 13-match unbeaten run against Brighton.
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Chelsea to win and BTTS
Chelsea to win 2-1
Werner to score first
The draw between the clubs in January was the first time the Seagulls have avoided defeat against Chelsea in the six games they’ve contested since the south coast outfit were promotion to the Premier League in 2017. However, that point gives Brighton something to build on here, while Graham Potter will hope his team can capitalise on any unfamiliarity within the Chelsea line-up.
Lampard is likely to name an XI which has never played with each other before, even in a friendly, potentially bringing the home win into play at 17/4. That said, Chelsea are suddenly looking like the team most capable of bridging the gap to Premier League champions Liverpool and runners-up Manchester City this season, and they are 4/6 with William Hill to get their campaign off to a winning start.
Brighton have barely spent anything so far this summer, although centre-back Joel Veltman could prove a shrewd buy from Ajax. Aside from Jensen Weir, the Seagulls have only brought in free transfers Adam Lallana and Ulrick Eneme-Ella, and aren’t expected to get anything from their opening fixture. A draw would be an encouraging result for the hosts and an early bump for the Blues, and it’s priced at 10/3.
One to watch for Brighton: Adam Lallana has joined Brighton on a free from Liverpool this summer, and the former Southampton midfielder is expected to be a key man for his new south coast side this season. He is 20/1 to prove his worth right away by opening the scoring on Monday, or 15/2 in the anytime market.
One to watch for Chelsea: Timo Werner has cost Chelsea in excess of £50m after netting 34 goals in 45 games for RB Leipzig last season. He took less than four minutes to break the deadlock on his Blues debut in the friendly against Brighton the other week, and is 17/5 to repeat the trick by bagging the opener here.
Long shot: Chelsea thrashed Brighton 4-0 the first time the teams met at the Amex Stadium in the Premier League. The Blues look capable of repeating scorelines like that this season with their added firepower, and the visitors are 28/1 to win by the same margin in your Brighton vs Chelsea predictions for this game.