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    ʕ ͡ಠ ʖ̯ ͡ಠ) Dick Head's Avatar
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    Brighton & Hove Albion vs Chelsea *** Official Match Thread ***


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    Brighton v Chelsea


    PREMIER LEAGUE

    Venue: The American Express Community Stadium
    Date: Saturday 20th January 2018
    Kick-off: 12:30 GMT
    Referee: Jonathan Moss
    Assistants: Eddie Smart, Andy Halliday
    Fourth official: Kevin Friend



    TEAM NEWS


    Chelsea are without forwards Alvaro Morata and Pedro, who were both sent off during the FA Cup penalty-shootout win over Norwich on Wednesday.

    Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are also absent due to respective hamstring injuries.

    However, Antonio Conte has confirmed that Ross Barkley will be included in the squad for the first time.

    Brighton will again be without Steve Sidwell who fractured his ankle while recovering from back surgery.


    MOTD COMMENTATOR'S NOTES

    Simon Brotherton: "As it's not currently used in the Premier League, at least we know it won't be VAR making the headlines at the Amex Stadium.

    "Chelsea's dramatic FA Cup replay win over Norwich on Wednesday certainly provided plenty of talking points as they eventually prevailed on penalties.

    "It also left them with nine players on the pitch by the end, which means both Alvaro Morata and Pedro are unavailable for this early kick-off.

    "Brighton have managed to stay away from the relegation fight up to now but that could soon change in a very tight lower half of the table. Worryingly for them, they've only won one of the last 12 league games and failed to score in eight of them."


    WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

    Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton on making new signings in January: "I'm sure there will be, but we have got used to these windows where the business is mostly done at the tail end of it more than the beginning.

    "Is a striker still the priority? I think it has to be. We have a competitive squad, but we have found it difficult to get the goals we need.

    "We are still actively trying to bring in a centre-half and then the possibility of Connor Goldson going out on loan.

    "If we are able to do that then we will."

    MATCH FACTS

    Head-to-head

    • Brighton have lost their last seven games against Chelsea in all competitions, failing to score in six of them.
    • The Premier League meeting on Boxing Day, which Chelsea won 2-0, was the first between the two clubs since 1989.
    • Brighton's only win came in the first meeting in 1933, a 2-1 home victory in the FA Cup.


    Brighton

    • Brighton have lost only two of their 11 Premier League home fixtures (W3, D6).
    • However, they have been defeated in all six league matches this season against the current top six, scoring once.
    • They have conceded a league-high 16 goals from set-pieces in 2017-18.
    • Albion have never beaten the reigning top-flight champions in a league match, losing seven and drawing two of their nine fixtures.
    • The Seagulls are one short of 200 top-flight goals. However, only bottom club Swansea have scored fewer league goals than Brighton's 17 this season.


    Chelsea

    • Chelsea could go three league away games without a win for the first time under Antonio Conte.
    • They could also remain winless in their opening three Premier League matches of a calendar year for the first time in 23 years.
    • Their only away victory in six league and cup matches was 3-1 at Huddersfield Town on 12 December (W1, D4, L1).
    • The Blues have lost just one of their 27 Premier League matches as reigning champions versus promoted opposition (W21, D5), a 1-0 home defeat by Bournemouth in 2015. The winner was scored by current Brighton player Glenn Murray.
    ● Please note, the club has taken the step of adding flasks to the prohibited items list ●

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