Seagulls to challenge leaky Blues
A very attractive looking fixture will complete our Monday evening’s this week, with easy on the eye Brighton and Hove Albion hosting new look Chelsea. The side’s played out a pre-season friendly in the last couple of weeks to which Timo Werner bagged his first goal in Chelsea colours as the Blues were 1-0 victors. Do not read too much into that occasion, with this meeting expected to be far more competitive as we can expect goals. The Seagulls were impressive last season in undergoing a huge transformation of playing style, with Graham Potter’s arrival bringing to the table extremely different ideas to that of previous gaffer Chris Hughton. They will entertain as usual in this opening game, despite Chelsea being heavy favourites.
No other team drew a blank at home as much as Brighton in 2019/20, this came due to some frustrating finishing as leading man Neal Maupay took some time to adapt to the Premier League. The Blues were surprising in their most leaky season since 1996/97, conceding 54 goals seeing record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga dropped and defensive reinforcements brought in over the summer. Only Norwich City conceded more goals from corners last term and they finished 20th with the modest tally of 21 points. The weight of expectation is immense on the shoulders of Timo Werner for this coming campaign, the last two league Chelsea have won were accompanied by a striker scoring 20 or more goals. Frank Lampard will be hoping Werner is his man this time around.
There are still many a star on show but Mateo Kovacic, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech remain sidelined as of suspension and injury.
You must have been living under a rock to not notice the waves Chelsea have been making in the transfer market this window. Still after a goalkeeper of course, as it is looking increasingly likely that Edouard Mendy will sign from Rennes. They have spent over £200million on; Kai Havertz, Werner, Chilwell and Ziyech, with defenders Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva joining on free transfers. Expect only the Germans to play from the off on Monday evening, and see how they combine aged just 21 and 24.
Werner scored 34 goals in all competitions for RB Leipzig in 2019/20, providing the platform to move to a top European club and somewhat surprisingly after receiving interest from Liverpool he chose West London in the form of Chelsea. A massive coup for Lampard and owner Roman Abramovich that will be intriguing to see how much fruit it will bear fruit in this his debut campaign.
I have my reservations and have an unpopular opinion that he should be phased into the first team with Olivier Giroud initially leading the line. Seems unlikely.
Chelsea’s defence may hold them back once again, they have not invested enough into it.