Chelsea team news: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Brighton

Last updated
Comments()
Getty Images
The Blues travel to the relegation-threatened club as they aim to turn around a mediocre run of form that has seen them struggle to score goals

Chelsea are in the midst of a run of three consecutive scoreless games for the first time in their history but they are hoping to put that behind them as they battle for a top-four place in the Premier League. 

The champions are 15 points behind leaders Manchester City and have slipped down into fourth place with little chance of retaining their crown. 

Brighton, who the Blues tackle on Saturday, are just three points above the relegation zone as they have shown inconsistency in the busy winter period. 


CHELSEA INJURIES


Ross Barkley is still waiting to make his Chelsea debut after seven months out injured. The £15 million January signing had surgery on his hamstring while at previous club Everton.

David Luiz is available for selection once again after a prolonged spell of treatment on his knee but remains on the fringes of the squad with Andreas Christensen's emergence. However, he may get closer to the first team with Gary Cahill coming off in the 33rd minute with a hamstring injury against Leicester City.

Cesc Fabregas is also a doubt after feeling pain in his hamstring.

Chelsea are thought to have no other injury worries ahead of this weekend's match, though Baba Rahman seems to be inching towards a loan move return to Schalke after a long-term knee injury.


CHELSEA SUSPENSIONS


Chelsea have both Alvaro Morata and Pedro suspended after they were shown red cards against Norwich in midweek. The pair both earned their first bookings for simulation, with Pedro getting a second for a professional foul and Morata earning his marching orders for dissent.  

The Premier League rules also now state that 10 yellow cards are needed to earn a ban for accumulation, with the 19-game deadline passed by all clubs in the league. Morata is closest to reaching the 10 figure with his eight yellow cards accumulated this season. Any player that reaches 10 yellow cards will earn a two-match ban. 


POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP


Conte is unhappy with recent results, which have seen the Blues failed to score in three game in a row. Most worryingly of all, Leicester City completely dominated what Conte called a 'tired' Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

The 120 minutes played against Norwich won't have helped for many players although some of them were rested against Norwich. 

There are some complaints about the performances of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Morata but there were few positives in last week's Premier League game. 

Some see the 3-5-2 formation as the problem, with Eden Hazard and Morata both struggling for their best form.

Conte has Willian available, which could perhaps see more attacking system introduced, with Bakayoko the likely victim.

Cahill is likely to be out so Antonio Rudiger will likely slot into left centre-back, playing alongside Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta. 

Chelsea XI


BRIGHTON TEAM NEWS


Brighton had Izzy Brown on loan from Chelsea for the season after his impressive spell at Huddersfield Town help them get promoted. However, he has suffered an injury to his cruciate ligament and had to undergo surgery on Tuesday. He has returned to Stamford Bridge for his recovery.

Steve Sidwell is also out with a back injury but Brighton, otherwise, have a clean bill of health.  

Izzy Brown Brighton


TV CHANNEL & KICK OFF TIME


The match takes place at 12:30 GMT on Saturday and it will be broadcasted live in the UK on SkySports. 


BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS


  • This is only the 10th ever meeting between Brighton and Chelsea – the Blues have won each of the last seven contests in all competitions.

  • Chelsea have won all five of their English league matches against Brighton – should they win this match, only one team will have a better 100% record against an opponent since the Football League began in 1888 (Wimbledon against Bournemouth, eight wins out of eight).

  • Chelsea have won just one of their last five away league games (D3 L1), drawing each of the last two. They’ve not gone three away games without a win in the Premier League under Antonio Conte.

    Article continues below
  • Chris Hughton is winless in seven matches against Chelsea in all competitions (D2 L5), losing each of the last five; his only victory against them came in the League Cup in September 2010, a 4-3 win at Stamford Bridge for Newcastle United.

  • Alvaro Morata hasn’t scored in his last three league starts – he last had a longer run ending in August 2016 (eight starts with Juventus and Real Madrid combined). His last game against Leicester was his only Premier League game this season where he didn’t have a single shot.

Next article:
Vermaelen suffers fresh injury blow at Barcelona as calf complaint sidelines him for a month
Next article:
Barcelona & Man City told what to expect from any January approach for De Ligt
Next article:
Rush thinks Klopp's German knowledge will be an advantage against Bayern
Next article:
Irwin urges Mourinho turnaround before PSG Champions League clash
Next article:
Manchester City must control Schalke, Begiristain warns
Close