This match sees one of the biggest teams in the league go against one which not too long ago made headlines as giant slayers. While there’s little doubt who the favourites are to win in this contest, Brighton have shown enough to, at the very least, be in the running. And while they haven’t quite made good on their potential throughout the season, there are few better ways to get back in the swing of things than by taking down the likes of Chelsea.
However, considering their opponents recently toppled the mighty Manchester City – ending their undefeated 2018/19 Premier League run –, that’s going to be some tall order.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Chelsea Prediction: Brighton 0-2 Chelsea
As was bound to happen, when Brighton beat Manchester United at the start of the season, their fans started to hope that this was a new dawn for the side. Sadly, that has not really come to fruition. They’ve had their moments, for sure. They scored a trio of wins against Wolves, Everton and Cardiff not too long ago. Each and every time though, they have failed to maintain that momentum.
Chelsea hasn’t had a perfect season either, having just come off the back of a disappointing series of matches. Their triumph against Manchester City really did seem to come out of the blue. However, what really swings this prediction in their favour is that, even during this period, Chelsea played better than Brighton. When one team’s worst day can outmatch the average of another, a clear favourite emerges.
In terms of the score, while Brighton have been good at battling back with at least a goal in losses, we think that Chelsea will just prove to be too strong, especially after a miserable 1-0 loss against Burnley. With that in mind, our prediction is for Chelsea to win 2-0.
Our recommended tip: Chelsea win to nil
Currently sitting in fourth place in the 2018/19 Premier League standings compared to Brighton’s 13th, it’s little surprise that the bookmakers are favouring a Chelsea win. The away side go into this contest with a huge 67% win probability to Brighton’s 11%, and this is reflected in the match odds too. Ladbrokes are offering 4/9 odds on Chelsea compared to 13/2 for a Brighton upset. Therefore, for a higher potential ROI, punters can not only back the favourites but predict that they will win to nil to enjoy medium-risk odds of 13/10.
Believe it or not, as long as they have been around, these two teams have only faced each other a total of 10 times, with their first contest coming way back in 1933. That first match actually ended 2-1 in Brighton’s favour. However, things were not destined to go on as they began.
They met again over 30 years later in1967 in a 1-1 draw for the FA Cup. After that, it’s all Chelsea victories, with the side winning 4-0 later that year. They were victorious again by 2-0 in 1973, bested Brighton on three occasions throughout the 1980s, and most recently, came out the winner in a 2017 and 2018 clash, which ended 2-0 and 4-0 respectively.
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Players to watch: Glenn Murray & N’Golo Kanté
Brighton & Hove Albion: Glenn Murray
While there’s plenty more to praise Brighton for, on this year – the one in which Glenn Murray surpassed the 100 goal benchmark for the club – there can be few doubters as to who their star player is. With a winning goal against Wolves less than two months ago, Murray joined an elite club in football history and, as Leicester and Crystal Palace found out, he’s far from being done yet.
Chelsea: N’Golo Kanté
Just in case you happened to be forgetting exactly how brilliant N’Golo Kanté was, hark back to his magnificent performance in their tour de force match against Manchester City. Kanté was absolutely phenomenal here, vindicating Sarri’s decision to play him differently this season. There have certainly been questions about the wisdom of pushing Kanté in a heightened role on the right, but we think those voices will be quieter now. Seeing him thrive in different circumstances is a joy, and we can’t wait to see him grow further into his new position.