Preview: Murray available for Chelsea trip

Albion head to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon for the first of two matches against London opposition before the international break, as the Seagulls take on a Chelsea side which has been boosted by youth so far this season.

By Kieran Cleeves • 26 September 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Glenn Murray on the training field ahead of Saturday's visit to Stamford Bridge

Graham Potter’s team have taken six points from as many Premier League matches, and will be looking to prevent Chelsea boss Frank Lampard from claiming his first league victory at Stamford Bridge since taking charge of the Blues.

Both sides were in Carabao Cup action on Wednesday night — a very young Albion side were beaten 3-1 by Aston Villa at the Amex, while Chelsea cruised into the fourth round after a 7-1 victory against Grimsby Town on home soil.

In the Premier League, Albion head into the fixture on the back of a goalless draw at Newcastle, while the Blues went down 2-1 against Liverpool in the capital.

By Paul Hazlewood
Shane Duffy limps off at the Amex Stadium in the Carabao Cup

Team news…

Potter gave an update on Albion’s injury list, confirming that Glenn Murray has trained with the team this week and will be fine for Saturday’s trip to Stamford Bridge.

Shane Duffy sustained a calf injury against Aston Villa and has gone for a scan, meaning the defender is likely to be out for weeks rather than days.

Leandro Trossard is making good progress, but this weekend’s game comes too soon for the Belgian, as it also does for Solly March, Bernardo and Leon Balogun.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh could come into contention after spending time out on the sidelines, but a late fitness check with be made.

For Chelsea, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Emerson and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all expected to miss this weekend’s game, while Olivier Giroud could return after missing last week’s game through illness.


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Extended Highlights: Newcastle 0 Albion 0

Stat attack…

Despite being unable to find the back of the net at St James’ Park last weekend, Albion delivered some impressive stats from their encouraging display in the north east.

Not only did Potter’s side enjoy 70.3% of the possession, they made a season-high 718 passes compared to Newcastle’s 280 — comfortably surpassing the 491 recorded against Burnley a week earlier.

Albion’s passing accuracy finished on 88.2%, which was also a season high, beating the 86.8% recorded against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last month.


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Highlights: Albion 1 Aston Villa 3

Our last fixture…

Albion 1
Roberts 61

Aston Villa 3
Jota 22
Hourihane 33
Grealish 77

Albion line-up: Button; Bong, Duffy (Yapi 72), Roberts; Davies, Jenks (Spong 72), Baluta, Cochrane; Gwargis, Richards, Connolly (Longman 58).

Subs not used: Steele (GK), O’Hora, J. Davies, Radulovic.

By REX/Shutterstock
Michy Batshuayi in action against Grimsby on Wednesday night

Their last fixture…

Chelsea 7
Barkley 4
Batshuayi 7, 86
Pedro 43 pen
Zouma 56
James 82
Hudson-Odoi 89

Grimsby Town 1
Green 19

Chelsea line-up: Caballero; James, Zouma, Guehi, Alonso (Maatsen 66); Barkley, Gilmour; Pulisic, Pedro (Anjorin 67), Hudson-Odoi; Batshuayi.

Subs not used: Cumming (GK), Tomori, Jorginho, Mount, Abraham.

By REX/Shutterstock
Tammy Abraham celebrates one of his seven Premier League goals so far this season

Chelsea’s player to watch:

Following a testing start to the season, which included a missed penalty in the Super Cup final and no goals in the opening two Premier League games of the season, Tammy Abraham has shown his quality and character as Chelsea’s number nine.

The 21-year-old, who Lampard has shown immense faith in, bagged consecutive braces against Norwich City and Sheffield United, before notching a hat-trick against Wolves at Molineux.

Only Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero sits ahead of the young forward in the goalscoring charts after six top-flight matches, and Abraham will be keen to continue his rich form in front of goal this weekend.

Heading to the game? Click here to read Chelsea's useful away fans' guide.

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