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26 December 2017 Venue Stamford Bridge Attendance

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: CHELSEA V ALBION

26 December 2017

Brighton & Hove Albion make their first trip to Stamford Bridge since 1988 this afternoon, as they take on Chelsea in their first Boxing Day fixture in the Premier League, kick-off 3pm.

Chris Hughton’s team head into the game on the back of their first league victory in eight games, after Pascal Gross scored the winning goal in a 1-0 win for the Seagulls over Watford at the Amex.

This afternoon’s opponents won the Premier League last season, but the Blues have been unable to reach the same heights in the league table this season, with Manchester City storming ahead.

Antonio Conte’s team occupy third position in the Premier League ahead of today’s game, and shared the spoils in a goalless draw against Everton at Goodison Park last time out.

Albion moved up to 12th in the league standings after their win over the Hornets, and Hughton’s men will be looking to move even further from the drop zone with points at the Bridge today.


TEAM NEWS:

After completing a one-game suspension, Albion defender Shane Duffy is available for selection again, but Izzy Brown is ineligible to play against his parent club.

Steve Sidwell is the only other player unavailable to play, as the midfielder continues to recover from back surgery.

For Chelsea, top scorer Alvaro Morata returns after a one-match ban - David Luiz remains out with a knee injury, while midfielder Charly Musonda is absent because of a groin problem.

FORM:

ALBION: The Seagulls ended their seven-game winless run in the Premier League with all three points against Watford on Saturday, and they are now unbeaten in two, with a 0-0 draw against Burnley coming beforehand.

December opened with three consecutive defeats to Liverpool, Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur, but Hughton’s side took five points from 12 games in November, beating Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium to start things off.


CHELSEA: Before Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Everton, Chelsea had won back-to-back league fixtures against Huddersfield and Southampton, with a 2-1 Carabao Cup win included in-between.

Their last defeat came against West Ham United at the London Stadium, but Conte’s team had previously been unbeaten in seven matches, while also qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League.


LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

ALBION 1
Gross 64

WATFORD 0

Albion line-up: Ryan (GK); Bruno, Goldson, Dunk, Suttner; Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, March (Izquierdo 90); Gross (Kayal 82); Hemed (Murray 86).

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Huenemeier, Schelotto, Baldock.


LAST TIME OUT: CHELSEA



EVERTON 0

CHELSEA 0

Chelsea line-up: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger; Moses (Zappacosta 80), Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Willian (Batshuayi 70), Hazard, Pedro (Fabregas 63).

Subs not used: Caballero (GK), Cahill, Drinkwater, Hudson-Odoi.



PLAYER TO WATCH: Eden Hazard

After signing for Chelsea in 2012 from Lille, the winger has taken English football by storm, helping the London club to two Premier League titles, playing 30-plus games in each of his seasons at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian recorded his best league goal tally for the club during the 2016/17 season just gone, scoring 16 goals in 36 appearances - and the 26-year-old already has five league goals to his name this season.

Hazard has impressed with his creative flair from wide areas, and is often the man Chelsea look to when in need of inspiration, with the Belgium international providing seven assists to go with his eight goals in all competitions this campaign.

With his explosive speed, excellent passing ability and keen eye for goal, the Chelsea man is regarded as one of the best players in the world - therefore Albion’s defence are likely to have their hands full this afternoon.

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Match Reports

REPORT: CHELSEA 2 ALBION 0

26 December 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Solly March shields the ball from Marcos Alonso at Stamford Bridge.
  • Alvaro Morata gives Chelsea the lead
  • Marcos Alonso doubles the hosts’ advantage
  • Beram Kayal and Tomer Hemed go closest for the Seagulls
  • Result leaves Albion 12th in the Premier League

Brighton & Hove Albion fell to a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day in West London.

A quick-fire second half double from Alvaro Morata and Marcus Alonso was enough for the hosts to claim the three points from a game in which Chris Hughton's men more then held their own for long spells.

Chris Hughton made four changes for the visit to West London. Shane Duffy came back into central defence to partner Lewis Dunk – captain for the afternoon, as Connor Goldson dropped to the bench. 

Ezequiel Schelotto replaced Bruno at full-back, Jose Izquierdo came into the side for Anthony Knockaert and Beram Kayal made his second Premier League start of the season as the match-winner against Watford – Pascal Gross, dropped to the bench.

The first chance of the game went to the hosts as Hazard shot wide of Maty Ryan’s left-hand post, but the keeper had his angles well covered.

Albion began by sitting deep and looking to release the duo of March and Izquierdo out wide and after 13 minutes the Seagulls fashioned an opportunity. 

Schelotto and March exchanged well down on the right-hand side, and the defender’s low cross was deflected and hacked away by Gary Cahill.

Dale Stephens then played a super ball out to Markus Suttner on the left, and the Austrian’s great cross found Tomer Hemed in the middle. The striker’s header was crowded out before Davy Propper’s volley was blocked after more good work by Schelotto and March. 

The best chance of the game then went the way of the hosts shortly before the 20 minute mark when Antonio Rudiger headed Marcus Alonso’s cross back across goal and Tiemoue Bakayoko poked wide from close range. 

Ryan then saved well from Victor Moses at close range after the wide man had latched onto Cesc Fabregas’ cross-field pass before the Australian was quick off his line to claim a dangerous cross into the area from the left-hand side.

The central midfield for the Seagulls continued to work hard as a collective, with both Stephens and Kayal looking strong in the tackle, and composed in possession at the same time.

Ryan then held Fabregas’ shot from distance comfortably as the rain began to fall, and Bakayoko’s cynical foul on Schelotto as Albion looked to break was the last action of the half with the score goalless at the break. 

But just a minute after the restart Chelsea took the lead through Alvaro Morata when Azpilicueta crossed for his fellow Spaniard to head home at the front post past Ryan and into the bottom corner.

Hazard then shot wide after an exchange with Bakayoko on the edge of the area and Kayal was brought down at the other end to see Suttner’s free-kick blocked - the defender’s cross back into the area was then volleyed at goal by Propper, but Courtois claimed. 

Stephens then picked up the game’s first yellow card for a trip on Morata, and Alonso bent a free-kick up and over the visiting wall - Ryan made a strong save to tip it away before he pushed over Alonso’s header from close range at the following set-piece. 

But the Spanish defender soon got his name on the scoresheet on the hour mark as he headed into the far bottom corner, meeting Fabregas’ corner at the front post to double the hosts’ advantage.

March’s whipped cross was bundled away by Cahill at the front post with Hemed in close attendance, before Dunk made a fantastic clearance off the line at the other end after Hazard had beaten two men on the edge of the area and got a shot away.

Kayal and Propper then combined to allow the former to fire over from the edge of the area, and the midfielder was then replaced by Pascal Gross as Albion made their first change of the afternoon. 

Chelsea introduced Willian for Hazard before Glenn Murray replaced Hemed and March was withdrawn for Anthony Knockaert and Morata left the field for Michy Batshuayi as both sides continued to make changes as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Danny Drinkwater then replaced N'Golo Kante before Knockaert flashed a dangerous ball across the front post but just beyond the reach of the on-rushing duo of Gross and Murray in the centre.

Duffy headed a free-kick narrowly wide of the upright as the game entered three minutes of injury time and Izquierdo also fired over, but that was the last of the action for the afternoon with a trip to Newcastle United up next for the Seagulls on Saturday.

Albion line-up: Ryan; Schelotto, Dunk ©, Duffy, Suttner; March (Knockaert 82), Kayal (Gross 73), Propper, Stephens, Izquierdo; Hemed (Murray 79).

Subs not used: Krul, Bruno, Goldson, Baldock.

Chelsea line-up: Courtois; Rudiger, Cahill©, Azpilicueta; Alonso Bakayoko, Moses, Kante (Drinkwater 85), Fabregas, Hazard (Willian 73); Morata (Batshuayi 82).

Subs not used: Caballero, Pedro, Zappacosta, Ampadu. 

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Ticket News

CHELSEA AWAY TICKETS GO ON SALE NEXT TUESDAY

10 November 2017

REX/Shutterstock
Stamford Bridge.

Tickets for Brighton & Hove Albion’s Boxing Day fixture against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge go on sale next Tuesday.

The Seagulls visit the home of last season’s Premier League champions on Tuesday 26th December, and Albion have received a full allocation of 3,000 tickets for the game, which kicks off at 3pm.

Beneath are the on-sale dates, pricing and information on how many points are required:

On-sale Dates Points Required
Tuesday 14th November STHs with 280+ Season Ticket Holder Points
Wednesday 15th November STHs with 254+ Season Ticket Holder Points*
Thursday 16th November STHs with 244+ Season Ticket Holder Points*
Friday 17th November STHs with 233+ Season Ticket Holder Points*
Monday 20th November STHs with 216+ Season Ticket Holder Points*
Tuesday 21st November STHs with 198+ Season Ticket Holder Points*
Wednesday 22nd November All remaining Season Ticket Holders*
Thursday 23rd November Bronze/YS+ Members with 16+ Member Points*
Friday 24th November

All remaining Bronze/YS+ Members*

*subject to availability

Category Price
Adult (20-64) £30

Senior (65+)

£23.50
Junior (Under 20) £23.50

Supporters can secure their tickets on the selected dates from 9am online and 2pm via the Albion Booking Line at 0844 327 1901.

There is a £1.50 per ticket booking fee for in person and telephone sales, while a charge of £1 per ticket applies to online purchases.

Seagull Travel are running a coach to this fixture with a number of pick-up points across East and West Sussex. A full list of pick-up locations and bookings can be found here, along with prices.

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