Chelsea vs Brighton preview, betting tips and predictions: Blues to sweep past Brighton on Boxing Day
Chelsea to win with a -2 handicap @ 7/4 with Paddy Power
Chelsea to win both halves @ 7/5 with Paddy Power
Chelsea to win 2-0 @ 9/2 with Paddy Power
The festive period kicks up a notch with eight Premier League match ups on Boxing Day, including newly-promoted Brighton travelling to Stamford Bridge to face the champions, Chelsea. Antonio Conte has certainly had a mixed first half to his second season at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues are still a really formidable force on their day. Eden Hazard has only so far shown glimpses of his best this season, but when he is on song Chelsea coast to victory, as they showed so brilliantly against a struggling Newcastle side earlier this month.
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Brighton, meanwhile, are going well in their debut Premier League campaign. Chris Hughton has done a typically solid job, making sure the Seagulls progress gradually under his stewardship. They come into this game under no pressure to deliver, but playing the big sides home and away is what getting into the division is all about. Brighton did well at Manchester United, only to lose 1-0.
We don’t see the result going differently here; with a comfortable home win on the cards.
Chelsea have not been a swashbuckling side to watch on the whole under Conte, and that is certainly reflected in recent results. They have been functional and efficient in getting points on the board, but with Alvaro Morata in and out of the side and Hazard struggling to find consistency, the likes of Willian and Pedro, as well as Marcos Alonso, have stepped up, They have won every game since losing at West Ham on the ninth, and that was their only defeat in more than two months. Their last two wins in all competitions have been by just one goal.
Their visitors did deserve more from their trip to Manchester United, but they also failed to contain Liverpool, losing that game 5-1 at the Amex Stadium. Overall, they are going well in the league, but they have lost their lofty top half position in the table, with a run of no wins since October taking them down to 13th. As it stands, before the weekend games, they have a three-point gap to the bottom three, but that could completely evaporate if they are not careful, particularly at Stamford Bridge. It could be a long, tough winter.
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After being booked for his goal celebration in the Carabao Cup win at Bournemouth during the week, Alvaro Morata, who has only just shaken an injury, will miss this game through suspension. David Luiz continues to be out with a knee problem, but the majority of Conte’s squad are available to him for selection.
Chris Hughton doesn’t have any fresh concerns of his own but he could look to shuffle his pack, as will Conte, amid such a heavy number of games around this period. Steve Sidwell remains unavailable and will not feature against his former club.