The Premier League comes thick and fast over the next 15-days as the festive season of football kicks-in for the top-flight teams. After their unexpected loss to Wolves, Chelsea bounced back in spectacular style with victory over Manchester City. A trip down the road to Brighton is next on the cards for Sarri’s team with their eyes firmly on another three points if they wish to keep pace with the title contenders. Form Labs return with their betting preview and tips and if you are after some additional value then check out our selection of enhanced odds for the Premier League and across the top European leagues.
Chelsea Should Be Well Rested
Chelsea rested players in their midweek assignment away in Hungary safe in the knowledge that the result didn’t matter one iota, meaning they should be fresh for this encounter as eight days will have elapsed since their sensational win over City last weekend.
They may have lost their last two on the road, but Spurs are in a great spell of form while Wolves shouldn’t be sniffed at having also taken points off the likes of City, United, Arsenal and Everton this season.
Good Record Against Bottom Half Teams
Against those currently residing in the bottom half of the table, the Blues have won seven of eight unbeaten matches this term. They netted three or more goals in over half of these as they won by at least two clear strikes in six.
With Maurizio Sarri encouraging his team to take the game to their opponents at every opportunity, it certainly plays into their hands against the weaker teams.
Brighton A Tough Proposition At Home
Brighton have only lost five of 26 games on home turf since the start of last season, but it’s noticeable that these came against the better teams as City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Leicester and Spurs have been the ones to down them.
In fact, four of those defeats were by at least two clear goals, including a 4-0 with for the Blues themselves, with Chelsea also registering a 2-0 win in the reverse fixture as they did the double over Chris Hughton’s men last term.
The Seagulls are enjoying another successful season of consolidation, but while they’re highly competitive with most of the division, there’s still a clear gulf in quality when taking on the top teams.
Indeed, they’ve gone W0-D1-L10 when facing the current top-four since the start of last season and with eight of those defeats by a two-goal margin, we’d have to back Maurizio Sarri’s side to stay true to form.
Suspensions And Injury Concerns
The hosts are further hampered by the absence of suspended centre-back Shane Duffy, who has formed an excellent partnership at the back alongside Lewis Dunk. He’s only missed two games since the Seagulls were promoted to this level, with one of those last weekends’ hugely disappointing defeat to Burnley.
Chelsea only have one or two injury concerns, but none that should affect their team selection here in any case with the possible exception of Mateo Kovacic.
However, the Croatian midfielder is a little more defensively minded than likely replacements of Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Ross Barkley, so if anything his absence may well help Chelsea record a bigger margin of victory, with those other two players both contributing goals this season.
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*odds subject to change.