Monday night football comes from Falmer Stadium where local side Brighton face off against London club Chelsea from 20:00 GMT in a match due to be shown live on television.
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The home team may enter as underdogs, but they will take heart from their last match against the Blues when fighting out a 1-1 draw on the first day of the year. Cesar Azpilicueta scored the opening goal of the game on 10 minutes, but the Seagulls fought back, netting an equaliser through Alireza Jahanbakhsh near the end. The stats show Brighton have beaten Chelsea only once before in competitive action with the spare coming in 1933.
Seagulls hoping to improve
Brighton spent much of last season mixing it at the wrong end of the table and only narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship. They needed a strong finish to the campaign to keep their heads above water but found the form needed to fend off the drop and finished in 15th. Everyone connected to Falmer Stadium will be eager to build on that and move towards the safety of midtable in the campaign to come.
These sides played a friendly match on 29 August and the result was another 1-1 draw which followed a similar pattern to their most recent league meeting. Werner gave the Blues an early lead, netting inside four minutes, before Grob hit a leveller with 90 minutes on the clock. Manager Graham Potter would’ve been delighted by the workout and the way his side battled to the end. He’ll want to see more of the same when doing it for real on Monday.
Blues have spent £200m
Chelsea enjoyed a successful season under Frank Lampard last time and have a strong foundation on which to build this campaign. The Blues failed to win a trophy, but they did finish fourth in the Premier League and runners up in the FA Cup, beaten by neighbours Arsenal at Wembley in the final. All this was achieved despite working under the restrictions of a transfer embargo.
The ban on signing players has since been lifted and Lampard wasn’t slow in getting to work. The former club captain has splashed the cash this summer, bringing in a host of big names from across Europe. The Stamford Bridge side have shelled out a jaw-dropping £200m on signings as they attempt to challenge the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City and battle their way back to the top of English football. An exciting season lies ahead.
Brighton vs Chelsea Prediction
It may only have been a friendly match, but Brighton showed in that recent draw with Chelsea that they shouldn’t be easily written off. The home team will battle for the points and make their opponents work hard for any joy they get.
All eyes will be on this match as Chelsea enter a new dawn. They have been ambitious with their signings but must hit the ground running if they are to challenge for the title. Lampard has the quality available to him and will be keen to show them off.
Premier League odds
Brighton are 4/1 to win this match with Chelsea 63/100 favourites. The draw is 63/20.