Match Previews

Chelsea team news: 'Some problems' for De Zerbi

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Italian to assess a couple of players before Saturday's game.

By Charlie Hanson • 14 April 2023

By James Boardman
Roberto De Zerbi will be aiming for his tenth Premier League win as Albion boss on Saturday.

Albion will look to return to winning ways on Saturday as they head to Chelsea, kick-off 3pm.

The match marks a quick return to London for Roberto De Zerbi’s team who were somewhat frustrated to be on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline at Tottenham last weekend.

That fixture marked just our second league defeat of 2023, having last been beaten in mid-February by Fulham.

That strong form has maintained our place in seventh spot in the Premier League and should Aston Villa get anything other than a win in the early kick-off against Newcastle United, Albion would move up to sixth with victory.

We can also take heart from the fact we haven’t lost to a team currently in the bottom ten this season – winning 11 of our 15 games so far, including a 4-1 win over Chelsea in October.

The Blues that day were led out by Graham Potter, who had departed the Amex for Stamford Bridge the month before.

Potter has since left Chelsea and Frank Lampard has taken over in a caretaker role until the end of the season. 

The Blues’ record goalscorer has overseen two matches so far, losing 1-0 at Wolves in the league and 2-0 at Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Those results have been part of a difficult run for Chelsea, who are winless in their last four Premier League games. A victory on Saturday would lift them up a place into tenth.

Team news

Roberto De Zerbi has said that he will have to make a couple of late calls on players availability ahead of Saturday's game.

He said in his press conference on Friday, "There's no big news. There are some problems, I want to see tomorrow morning before we decide the starting XI."

Our last meeting


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Extended PL Highlights: Albion 4 Chelsea 1

Roberto De Zerbi was a relieved man when the full-time whistle went against Chelsea last time out, as at the sixth attempt the Italian enjoyed his first win in the Premier League. It came in some fashion, as Albion led 3-0 by half-time and despite Kai Havertz’s early goal in the second 45 minutes, Pascal Gross killed the game off with a late goal to secure a fantastic 4-1 win.

Player to watch

Chelsea broke the British transfer record in January to bring in Enzo Fernandez from Benfica, having won the World Cup with Argentina in December, alongside Alexis Mac Allister. The 22-year-old has impressed at the base of Chelsea’s midfield and his arrival on an eight-and-a-half-year deal means we can expect to see him there for the foreseeable future.

The stats

Chelsea have never lost a home league game against Brighton & Hove Albion, conceding just once in seven previous meetings at Stamford Bridge (W5 D2).

Brighton’s only league win in 15 league matches (D4 L10) against Chelsea was in this season’s reverse fixture, winning 4-1 at the Amex Stadium. The Seagulls hadn’t led for a single minute in any of their 10 Premier League games against Chelsea before that win.

Chelsea have lost just three of their last 18 home Premier League games under Frank Lampard (W11 D4), with those defeats coming against Man Utd (0-2 in February 2020), Liverpool (0-2 in September 2020) and Man City (1-3 in January 2021 – Lampard’s last home league game in charge of the club).

Brighton have lost just two of their last 12 Premier League games (W6 D4), however both of those defeats came against London clubs (vs Fulham in February and Tottenham last time out). The Seagulls will be hoping to avoid back-to-back league defeats, something that has happened just once this season (vs Tottenham and Brentford in October).


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Extended PL Highlights: Spurs 2 Albion 1

Chelsea have failed to score in each of their last three Premier League games, despite attempting 52 shots with an expected goals total of 5.5; the Blues last went longer without a league goal in September 2007 (4 games). Overall, Chelsea have failed to score in 12 different Premier League matches in 2022-23, their most in a single campaign in the competition.

Chelsea’s goalless draw with Liverpool in their last game at Stamford Bridge had an overall xG of 2.5. Indeed, Stamford Bridge has seen fewer goals than any other Premier League stadium this season (28 from 15 games) and over 11 fewer than expected (39.3 xG) based on Opta’s expected goals metric (the biggest negative difference for a Premier League venue this term). 

As well as ranking second for shots from high turnovers (46) in the Premier League this season, Brighton rank third for build up attacks (111), sequences with 10+ passes (452), start distance (43.5) and PPDA (10.6) heading into the weekend’s games.

Chelsea have failed to score a first half goal in 10 of their last 11 home league games and in each of the last eight. They’ve never gone nine successive Premier League matches without a first half goal at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling has scored four goals in his last six Premier League appearances against Brighton, with one of his five hat-tricks in the competition coming against the Seagulls in July 2020.

Three of Evan Ferguson’s four Premier League goals for Brighton have come away from home. Among players to have scored at least three away goals this season, only Newcastle’s Alexander Isak (81) has a better mins/goal rate on the road than Brighton’s Evan Ferguson (100 – 3 goals in 300 minutes).

Match officials

Referee: Robert Jones.

Assistants: Ian Hussin, Wade Smith.

Fourth official: Geoff Eltringham.

VAR: Chris Kavanagh.

Assistant VAR: Dan Cook.