Former Chelsea midfielder Dennis Wise believes a positive result for Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge this evening could provide the confidence needed ahead of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
The 52-year-old, who made more than 330 appearances for tonight’s Premier League opponents, understands the difficulty of this week’s trips to London, but backed Albion’s players to give everything ahead of Saturday’s match at Wembley Stadium.
He said, “Once you’re out there, you’re done, focusing and getting on with the game. The thought of the next game doesn’t even come into the equation.
“You could give up a lot of energy against Chelsea, they’ll have a lot of possession and make you run a lot, but it depends how the game goes for Brighton.
“Getting a result at Stamford Bridge could give the side a lift in confidence, it would move you closer to safety in the league and then go into the semi-final looking forward to it even more.
“Brighton are the underdogs and everyone expects Manchester City to win the game, so it really can be a psychological thing at times, but a good result against Chelsea would certainly help.”
The Seagulls are currently five points clear of the relegation zone with eight matches remaining, but Wise stressed how hard it could be for Albion to add to their tally at Stamford Bridge, with two Chelsea stars likely to return.
“Brighton seem quite comfortable in the league, although I’m sure Chris [Hughton] would like a few more points on the board to be safe, but as a player you know exactly what’s coming up.
“Chelsea haven’t been in fantastic form, but they’ve just come off a win and Brighton lost to Southampton. Chelsea are a difficult team to play against, especially at Stamford Bridge.
"They’ve got a lot of quality in the squad. [N'Golo] Kante and [Eden] Hazard were both rested against Cardiff, so I’m sure they’ll be back on Wednesday night, which is unfortunate for Brighton.
“They’re two inspirational players that make the team tick. From that point of view, that will make it very difficult for one of the two full-backs if Hazard is on the pitch.”