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16 December 2018 Venue Amex Stadium Attendance

Kick off 13:30 (UK)

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Match Previews

PREVIEW: JAHANBAKHSH FIT FOR CHELSEA

14 December 2018

Paul Hazlewood
Alireza Jahanbakhsh smiles after coming off the pitch at the Amex Stadium.

Brighton & Hove Albion will look to continue their positive form on home soil when Chelsea visit the Amex Stadium on Sunday afternoon, kick-off 1.30pm, with the Seagulls playing the first of their four Premier League matches inside two weeks.

The Seagulls boast the seventh best home record in the top flight, with 14 points from their opening seven matches on the south coast, but the Blues were one of only four teams to win at the Amex last season.

Chris Hughton’s team made a fine start to December with victories over Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace, but a narrow 1-0 defeat to Burnley followed last weekend at Turf Moor.

Chelsea produced a fine display at Stamford Bridge to inflict a first league defeat of the season on reigning champions Manchester City, before drawing 2-2 against Vidi in the Europa League on Thursday night.




TEAM NEWS:

Hughton confirmed that Alireza Jahanbakhsh is available for the visit of the Blues after recovering from injury, and a late decision will be made on the fitness of Jose Izquierdo.

Shane Duffy will serve the second match of his three-game suspension, following the red card he received in Albion's 3-1 win against Crystal Palace.

Both Alvaro Morata and Mateo Kovacic are doubts for the Blues after picking up injuries against Vidi and Manchester City respectively, while Victor Moses remains a long-term absentee for the Londoners.

 

FORM:

The Seagulls were unable to secure a third Premier League victory in a row when they travelled to Turf Moor last weekend, with James Tarkowski’s first-half goal sealing the points for the Clarets.

But Hughton’s side put six points on the board beforehand, following their second away victory of the season, which came at the John Smith’s Stadium, before a breathtaking 3-1 win against Crystal Palace.

Florin Andone got his name on the scoresheet in both victories, but Shane Duffy’s red card against the Eagles meant the defender would be suspended for Albion’s following three matches.

The Blues opened December with a comfortable 2-0 victory over west London neighbours Fulham, but a shock 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers followed after Ruben Loftus-Cheek had opened the scoring.

Maurizio Sarri’s team bounced back in superb fashion with a 2-0 win against Manchester City, before making numerous changes for their 2-2 draw against Vidi in Europe, having already qualified as group winners.



LAST TIME WE MET:

The Seagulls were made to pay for a slow start when the sides met at the Amex in January, with Eden Hazard and Willian finding the back of the net inside six minutes to give the Blues a 2-0 lead.

Albion came back into the game and created numerous chances to halve the deficit, including Davy Propper’s header that crashed against the woodwork after the break.

But further strikes from Hazard and Moses extended Chelsea’s lead and rounded off a frustrating afternoon for Hughton’s men on the south coast.

LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

BURNLEY 1
Tarkowski 40

ALBION 0

Albion line-up: Ryan; Bruno, Dunk, Balogun, Bong; Knockaert (Locadia 63), Propper, Bissouma, March; Gross (Stephens 79); Andone (Murray 63).

Subs not used: Steele (GK), White, Bong, Kayal.




LAST TIME OUT: CHELSEA

CHELSEA 2
Kante 45
Luiz 78

MANCHESTER CITY 0

Chelsea line-up: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic (Barkley 65); Pedro, Hazard (Giroud 90), Willian (Loftus-Cheek 75).

Subs not used: Caballero (GK), Christensen, Palmieri, Fabregas.




PLAYER TO WATCH: Eden Hazard

After finding the back of the net seven times in his opening eight Premier League matches of the season, Hazard has turned provider for the Blues in recent weeks, most recently assisting both goals in the 2-0 victory over Manchester City.

It took the Belgian’s assist tally to eight for the campaign, which is already double what he managed during the 2017/18 season and six short of his record total from the 2012/13 season.

The 27-year-old bagged a brace at the Amex last season in Chelsea’s 4-0 victory, and will be looking to pose further threat to Albion’s defence when the team’s meet on Sunday afternoon.

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Match Reports

REPORT: ALBION 1 CHELSEA 2

3 Hours ago

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Paul Hazlewood
Solly March pulls a goal back for the Seagulls against Chelsea.
  • Albion are beaten 2-1 by Chelsea 
  • Pedro and Eden Hazard on target for the visitors
  • Solly March scores for Albion
  • The Seagulls face AFC Bournemouth on Saturday
Brighton & Hove Albion succumbed to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Chelsea at the Amex Stadium.
 
Two first-half goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard put the visitors 2-0 up, before Solly March halved the deficit after the break, and despite late pressure from the Seagulls, they ran out of time for an equaliser.
 
Chris Hughton made three changes to the side that lost to Burnley last week, with Martin Montoya, Dale Stephens and Glenn Murray all taking their places in the starting line-up.
 
Chelsea had a chance inside the opening five minutes when Hazard was clipped on the edge of the box, but David Luiz’s resulting set-piece went straight at Maty Ryan.
 
Albion tested the Chelsea backline for the first time when Murray teed up March inside the box, only for the latter’s effort to be deflected behind for a corner.
 
Hazard engineered the Blues’ next opportunity after his deft touch set up Marcos Alonso, whose attempt was blocked, before Willian was brought down by Anthony Knockaert, and the wall did its job to thwart the Brazilian.
 
But the deadlock was broken with 17 minutes played courtesy of Pedro, who latched onto Hazard’s cut back across goal and slotted the ball in from close range.

 
Down the other end, March was quick to react to Mateo Kovacic’s slack pass across goal and took aim from distance, but his low strike was comfortably saved by Kepa Arrizabalaga.
 
Hazard got his name on the scoresheet with 33 minutes played after Willian intercepted Leon Balogun’s pass and played the Belgian through on goal, and he produced a clinical finish past Ryan.
 
It was nearly 3-0 as Antonio Rudiger rose highest from Willian’s corner, but his header went inches past Ryan’s left-hand post.
 
The visitors created another opening shortly after the re-start when Cesar Azpilicueta sent a ball across the face of goal that was missed by both Hazard and Willian, before Pedro fired an acrobatic effort over the bar.

 
Hughton freshened up his attack with the introduction of Florin Andone in place of Glenn Murray, but it was Chelsea that had another opportunity to net a third, after Alonso’s fierce strike cannoned off the post with Ryan at full stretch.
 
But Albion had a lifeline in the 66th minute courtesy of March, after Bernardo headed Martin Montoya's cross back across the face of goal and the winger’s first-time left-footed strike halved the deficit.
 
Yves Bissouma and Jurgen Locadia were introduced in the final ten minutes, as Hughton’s men pushed for a point.
 
The Seagulls had a chance late on to level the scores as Lewis Dunk met March's inswinging cross in stoppage time, but his downward header went wide and Chelsea claimed a narrow win.
 
ALBION: Ryan; Montoya, Dunk, Duffy, Bernardo; Knockaert (Locadia 83), Stephens, Propper, March; Gross (Bissouma 82); Murray (Andone 63).
 
SUBS NOT USED: Steele (GK), Bruno, Bong, Kayal.
 
 
LOTTERY RESULTS
 
1901 CLUB LOTTERY
 
1ST PRIZE £1000 188531
2ND PRIZE       189002
3RD PRIZE       189311
4TH PRIZE       186523
5TH PRIZE       186615
 
ALBION HAT TRICK
 
1ST £500 2262
2ND £50  3977
3RD £25  4635
 
1ST GOAL TIME 17 MINS

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