Football

Brighton Vs Chelsea, EPL: Preview, Prediction, Head-To-Head, Key Players, Manager Comments

Chelsea are finishing their English Premier League campaign strongly and occupy seventh position – level on points with sixth-place Newcastle United and six behind Tottenham in fifth with two games remaining

Coach Mauricio Pochettino is targeting European qualification for Chelsea.
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Mauricio Pochettino admits it would be "amazing" for Chelsea to secure European qualification ahead of their trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday. (More Football News)

After replacing Graham Potter in the Stamford Bridge dugout last July, the Argentine oversaw just three wins from his first 10 Premier League games in charge of the Blues this season.

However, his side are finishing the campaign strongly and occupy seventh place – level on points with sixth-place Newcastle United and six behind Tottenham in fifth with two games remaining.

"The team is doing well, in the second part of the season – in the last 26 or 27 games," Pochettino told reporters. 

"If we can compete well in the last two games then there is a possibility to get into Europe, which would be amazing for us.

"If we are able to finish well and get into Europe, for sure, we can start the next season with hope to be in a better position than we were in this season."

Meanwhile, 10th-place Brighton have struggled for form in recent times, winning just one of their last eight league games – albeit that victory came against Champions League-chasing Aston Villa last time out on home soil.

Nevertheless, head coach Roberto De Zerbi is targeting a third successive top-half finish in the English top flight.

"I want us to finish in the top 10," he said during his pre-match press conference. "It’s important because, after Sunday, we go on holiday. When we’re on holiday, if we have no points [from the last two games], it will be a problem for me."

De Zerbi also paid tribute to the departing Adam Lallana, who will leave the Seagulls when his contract expires at the end of this season after four years with the club.

"I've been lucky to work with him because he is an honest guy, a top man," the Italian added. "I have learned a lot from him because he loves football."

Players To Watch

Brighton and Hove Albion – Joao Pedro

Scoring the match winner against Aston Villa last time out at the American Express Stadium, Pedro became the first Brighton player to bag 20 goals in a single season since Glenn Murray in 2016-17 (23).

The Brazilian has now been on target five times in the Seagulls’ last five Premier League outings on home soil.

Chelsea – Nicolas Jackson

The Senegal striker has been directly involved in five goals in his last three Premier League appearances for Chelsea (four goals, one assist), as many as in his previous 11 such games (three goals, two assists). 

With 14 league goals already this season – none of which have been penalties – he could be the first Blues player to score 15 non-penalty goals in a Premier League campaign since Tammy Abraham in 2019-20.

Match Prediction: Chelsea

Chelsea have won 29 points in the Premier League in 2024, with only the top three clubs – Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool – collecting more since the turn of the year. 

The Blues have lost just one of their last 13 league games (won seven, drawn five), and are aiming to win four in a row for the first time since October 2022.

Meanwhile, Brighton have now failed to score more than once in each of their last 11 Premier League outings, their longest such run in the competition.

Opta Win Probability

Brighton and Hove Albion: 33.8%
Chelsea: 37.3%
Draw: 28.9%

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