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Match Previews

STRIKER SET FOR RETURN TO THE FOLD

1 April 2019

Paul Hazlewood
Florin Andone.

Brighton & Hove Albion play their rearranged Premier League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, kick-off 7.45pm.

The game was moved due to Chelsea’s participation in the Carabao Cup Final, as Albion play their second of three matches in the space of eight days.

Chris Hughton’s side head into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Saturday, when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s strike proved to be the difference at the Amex.

Chelsea come into Wednesday’s game following a last-gasp 2-1 win away at Cardiff City on Sunday, as Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s stoppage-time strike ensured the Blues recovered from a goal down to claim all three points.

Maurizio Sarri’s side won by the same margin of victory in this season’s reverse fixture against Albion at the Amex back in December.

Goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard put the west Londoners 2-1 up, before Solly March’s second-half strike set up a nervy finish for the visitors.

TEAM NEWS

Chris Hughton has confirmed that he would still be without Pascal Gross for the game on Wednesday, but also revealed that he was hopeful Florin Andone would play a part in the capital having trained with the side on Monday morning. 

Ethan Ampadu (back) and Marco van Ginkel (knee) are the only confirmed absentees for the hosts, while Davide Zappacosta is a doubt with an ankle injury.

FORM

Albion’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton at the weekend ended a three-match unbeaten run in all competitions, following the back-to-back league wins over Huddersfield Town and Crystal Palace, and the dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Millwall.

Chelsea’s 2-1 win in South Wales on Sunday ensured Sarri’s side bounced back from a 2-0 defeat away at Everton eight days ago, when goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson secured the Toffees a 2-0 win at Goodison Park.

That result ended a run of five games unbeaten in all competitions for Chelsea, which included an 8-0 aggregate victory over Dynamo Kiev to secure a place in the Europa League quarter-finals, and a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

LAST TIME OUT:

ALBION 0

SOUTHAMPTON 1
Hojbjerg 53

Albion: Ryan; Montoya, Duffy, Dunk, Bernardo; Bissouma, Stephens, Propper (Locadia 74); Knockaert, Murray, Jahanbakhsh (March 62).

Subs not used: Button (GK), Bong, Burn, Kayal, Izquierdo.

LAST TIME OUT: CHELSEA

Loftus-Cheek-Chelsea.jpg

CARDIFF 1
Camarasa 46

CHELSEA 2
Azpilicueta 84
Loftus-Cheek 90 (+1)

Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Alonso; Kovacic, Jorginho (Loftus-Cheek 64), Barkley; Pedro (Hazard 53), Higuain (Giroud 77), Willian.

Subs not used: Caballero (GK), Hudson-Odoi, Kante, Christensen,

PLAYER TO WATCH: Eden Hazard

Brighton_v_Cheslea_16DEC18_PH_936.JPG

The Belgian continues to be the key figure in a Chelsea side that is battling with Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Arsenal for the two Champions League berths.

He has appeared in 30 of Chelsea’s 31 league games so far this campaign, and scored 13 times, most recently in the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, when he struck in stoppage time to claim the Blues a share of the spoils.

Hazard has also scored three times in his last three appearances against Albion, netting a brace in their 4-0 win at the Amex last season, and scoring the second goal in their 2-1 win at the same venue last December.


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