We look ahead to Sunday’s Premier League action with our Chelsea vs Brighton prediction and preview. Can the Blues bounce back from a heavy defeat last weekend?
Chelsea vs Brighton Stats: The Quick Hits
- Chelsea are predicted to defeat Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday. The Opta supercomputer gives the Blues a 43.7% chance of winning at Stamford Bridge.
- Brighton have failed to score in eight of their last 10 away games at Chelsea in all competitions.
- Chelsea are winless in their last five league games against Brighton (D3 L2), though, losing both Premier League meetings last season.
Chelsea will aim to atone for their thrashing at Newcastle United when they host Brighton and Hove Albion in Sunday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were hammered 4-1 at St. James’ Park by Newcastle last weekend, with Reece James’ second-half dismissal making matters even worse. Raheem Sterling had cancelled out Alexander Isak’s opener, only for Jamaal Lascelles, Joelinton and Anthony Gordon to power the Magpies to a convincing triumph.
That dismal second-half collapse saw Chelsea ship four goals for a second straight game, after a thrilling 4-4 draw with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. Those two results mean that it’s the first time the Blues have conceded four times in consecutive top-flight games since December 1989, when they did so in a three-game run against Wimbledon, QPR and Liverpool.
Their defensive woes will not be eased by the absence of James, who will serve a one-match suspension for his red card against Newcastle – as will Marc Cucurella after racking up five yellow cards across the season so far.
Malo Gusto returned to training this week and will be expected to deputise at right-back, despite not being involved at Newcastle after withdrawing from the France Under-21s squad during the international break. Ben Chilwell, Trevoh Chalobah and Wesley Fofana remain long-term absentees in defence for Pochettino, although the hosts may be boosted by Moisés Caicedo’s return in midfield.
Caicedo, who signed for a British-record fee of £115million from Brighton in August, only made a substitute appearance in the Newcastle defeat after returning late from international duty, but will likely come back in from the start to face his former employers.
Another summer signing, Christopher Nkunku, is yet to feature since his arrival from RB Leipzig but is edging closer to a return to fitness for his Chelsea debut, while Romeo Lavia is also still recovering.
Pochettino will at least be able to call upon Sterling for Sunday’s kick-off, with the former Liverpool and Man City forward being involved in a goal in each of his last three Premier League appearances (two goals, one assist) – his best run at Chelsea.
While the injury-hit Blues, who are 10th in the Premier League heading into Matchday 14, are suffering from absentees, Brighton have similar fitness and suspension problems.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side were 3-2 winners over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground last weekend, sitting eighth in the English top-flight after clinging on for victory on Saturday. Brighton were cruising after Joao Pedro’s double followed Evan Ferguson cancelling out Anthony Elanga’s opener, only for Lewis Dunk’s dismissal to create a nervy finish. De Zerbi’s visitors held on despite Morgan Gibbs-White’s 76th-minute penalty, although Dunk’s two-match ban offers defensive concerns for the Seagulls lineup at Stamford Bridge.
After going 63 Premier League games in a row without a red card between February 2022 and the start of November, Brighton have seen a player sent off in each of their last two games. Dunk’s red was his fifth in the Premier League, the most of any player since Brighton joined the division in 2017-18.
Pervis Estupinan, Solly March, Ansu Fati, Tariq Lamptey and Julio Enciso are all longer-term absentees with injuries, while Mahmoud Dahoud remains suspended for his straight red card against Sheffield United.
Danny Welbeck has scored on his last three Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge (with Sunderland in 2010 and his last two trips with Brighton) but will be missing due to a hamstring issue. For all their injury issues, De Zerbi can rely on veteran midfielder Pascal Groß, who has been involved in 10 goals in his last 18 Premier League appearances (five goals, five assists), while Brighton will hope to welcome back Kauro Mitoma for the trip to London.
Chelsea vs Brighton Head-to-Head
Chelsea will fancy their chances in this Premier League meeting, given Brighton have failed to score in eight of their last 10 visits to the Blues in all competitions.
That run includes this season’s 1-0 EFL Cup victory for Pochettino’s side, who were 1-0 winners in the third round thanks to Nicolas Jackson’s 50th-minute strike.
However, Chelsea are winless in their last five league outings against Brighton (D3 L2) after winning 10 of their 11 such meetings before that (D1). In fact, they were defeated in both Premier League clashes last season by Brighton, who thrashed Chelsea – then managed by former Seagulls boss Graham Potter – 4-1 at home before a 2-1 comeback victory at Stamford Bridge during Frank Lampard’s second tenure in charge.
Pochettino will be keen to improve on a poor recent record against Brighton, with Chelsea’s last league victory over the south-coast club a 3-1 win all the way back in September 2020.
Heading into the weekend, Chelsea are 12 points adrift of the UEFA Champions League qualification spots after going winless in their last two games. Their thrashing at Newcastle followed a 4-4 draw with Man City, having dispatched Tottenham 4-1 before that in a chaotic encounter.
Indeed, Chelsea have lost five of their 13 Premier League games this season following defeats to West Ham, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Newcastle. This is only the second time in their last 28 campaigns they have lost as many at this stage, along with 2015-16 (seven).
Brighton were winless in six league outings, losing to Aston Villa and Man City alongside draws against Liverpool, Fulham, Everton and Sheffield United, before victory over Forest.
They are one of only four sides yet to keep a Premier League clean sheet this season. However, they have also scored in every game this term and could become just the sixth top-flight team ever to score and concede in their first 14 matches in a season, and first since Wolves back in 1934-35.
Brighton head into this match following a 1-0 victory away at AEK Athens in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday evening thanks to another Joao Pedro penalty – his sixth scored (of six taken) of 2023-24 so far, which is more than any other Premier League player.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Chelsea vs Brighton Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Thiago Silva: 75.8 (out of 100)
Conor Gallagher: 73.0
Raheem Sterling: 71.6
Nicolas Jackson: 69.8
Enzo Fernández: 69.0
Evan Ferguson: 81.2 (out of 100)
Pascal Groß: 75.0
Jan Paul van Hecke: 71.6
Billy Gilmour: 70.4
Solly March: 70.3
These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.
Chelsea vs Brighton Prediction
Chelsea are predicted to get the job done in Sunday’s Premier League clash, with the Opta supercomputer giving the Blues a 43.7% chance of victory over Brighton at Stamford Bridge.
Even though Brighton have fared well against London club recently, the Seagulls only won 27.8% of the data-powered simulations, with the draw also probable in 28.5% of scenarios.
Chelsea’s chances of qualifying for the Champions League appear extremely slim, too, with the Blues securing a fourth-place finish in just 0.3% of the 10,000 supercomputer simulations, compared to 10th – where they sit heading into MD 14 – in 20% of simulations.
Brighton, meanwhile, have a 6.5% chance of finishing in the top-four spots with the Opta supercomputer, just below Manchester United (9.3%) but ahead of West Ham (1.3%).