After a humbling by league leaders Man City, Chelsea is now tasked with moving on from the disappointing defeat and continuing to push to secure a top four Premier League position.
The next test is a rearranged fixture against Brighton & Hove Albion, a club in good form both against Chelsea and the rest of the Premier League. The Seagulls are unbeaten in their last four, including a 1-1 draw against Chelsea dating back to the festive period. Including that result, the Seagulls have snatched a point in each of the last two games against Chelsea, leaving the Blues on high alert.
Both teams have a short turnaround for the midweek fixture, but it will be on Chelsea to sort out the sputtering attack that has stumbled in big games this season. The Blues have managed victory in just one of their last five league games, a concerning return for a club that appeared assured of a Champions League place and was pushing for a challenge to Man City’s title defense.
Brighton, in contrast, could not only make a statement with a third consecutive result against Chelsea, but also could signal its intent for a push towards Europa League or Conference League places. Sitting four points back of seventh-placed Man United, the Seagulls could become a player for those spots with points at home on Tuesday.
Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Brighton vs. Chelsea live score
(All times Eastern)
21st minute: Tariq Lamptey leads a scintilating counter that only reaches just beyond the halfway line, but his quickness and skill is still noted by the home crowd with cheers. It leads to a long spell of attacking possession by Brighton. “SEAGULLS! SEAGULLS!” can be heard booming around the Amex. Brighton has been the better side, and the home fans are giving thanks.
Tariq Lamptey, mehn. He’s so good.
— Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) January 18, 2022
16th minute: Chelsea with a corner after Sanchez gets his hand to an Azpilicueta shot, but it’s cleared by Veltman. Nothing in this match since Brighton’s early chance.
11th minute: Brighton going for the left flank often on its counter-attacks, with Tariq Lamptey getting involved high up the pitch. Now they go right for the first time and Joel Veltman draws a foul. Full-backs for Brighton having a strong start, and it’s pinning Chelsea’s wide men back. Cucurella with some important touches in the attacking half too.
Early on obviously but Lamptey v Alonso is shaping up to be a good battle here. Noticeable already how high up the pitch Lamptey is playing when Brighton are in possession.
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) January 18, 2022
9th minute: Chelsea controlling possession but unable to produce much. Brighton picking its spots well when pressing, pushing the Blues back to recycle often.
Thomas Tuchel looks VERY frustrated on the sidelines, gesticulating tactical instructions wildlly before muttering to himself.
Not for the first time in recent weeks, Tuchel’s body language in the dugout suggests he is pretty unhappy with what he is watching so far.
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) January 18, 2022
3rd minute: Moder with a BRILLIANT chance for Brighton and should have scored! Spectacular ball movement at the top of the box, but the Brighton midfielder can’t finish strongly as the ball skitters wide left. A real opportunity, and Chelsea will need to do better.
Thiago Silva appeared to be injured in the aftermath of the move. At 37 years old, the Brazilian has struggled with injuries of late, and this will be something to watch moving forward. Could force Chelsea back into a back-three if he has to go off. Only Malang Sarr is available at center-back.
Yeah, playing 4 at the back and more defensviely against Brighton’s wingbacks could be an issue. Spurs had some space down the flanks but Emerson and Doherty are terrible, so they didn’t take advantage. Cucurella and Lamptey could be dangerous. #CFC
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) January 18, 2022
1st minute: We’re under way! Looks like Chelsea is actually playing a more traditional 4-3-3, Alonso and Azpilicueta as the full-backs. Surprising from Tuchel.
It also seems that Jakub Moder is playing as a false nine, with Danny Welbeck drifting out wide. Not sure what that’s about from Graham Potter, when there’s a striker in the lineup, but we’ll see how it works out.
2:52 p.m.: It’s been a day of 4th minute goals for underdogs. What does Brighton have?
Comoros leads Ghana 1-0 on a goal in the 4th minute.
St. Pauli leads Borussia Dortmund 1-0 on a goal in the 4th minute.
Et tu, Brighton?
— Kyle Bonn (@the_bonnfire) January 18, 2022
2:30 p.m.: Thomas Tuchel said he is trying to be careful with Mateo Kovacic’s minutes, having played three straight Premier League matches after returning from a groin injury.
Tuchel on naming Kovacic as #CFC sub: “We have to be a little bit cautious. We don’t want to overuse him. He’s played a lot after injury & maybe we rushed him back a little bit for all these matches. Of course he’s very strong & was happy to play but we have to careful.” #BHACHE
— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) January 18, 2022
2:29 p.m.: Timo Werner made headlines in the run-up to today’s game after saying he recognizes his poor form, and he’s not sure why Chelsea fans support him after the struggles he’s faced. It’s some honesty from the German who’s on the bench to start today’s game.
Timo Werner: “Sometimes even I don’t know why the Chelsea fans are supporting me so much, because as a striker you want to be scoring as many goals as possible and sometimes I miss the target.
But I try to give my best every game, 100% to make sure the team are happy.” pic.twitter.com/5bzweBA517
— Football Tweet ⚽ (@Football__Tweet) January 18, 2022
2:05 p.m.: Lineups are in. Thomas Tuchel makes three changes, including American Christian Pulisic who drops to the bench in favor of Mason Mount.
Graham Potter brings in striker Danny Welbeck who was the hero off the bench at Stamford Bridge in late December as these two sides played to a 1-1 draw. Today Welbeck gets the surprise start, seeing both Neil Maupay and Leandro Trossard both drop to the bench, which is a big call for the Seagulls head man.
1:30 p.m.: Brighton is without defender Lewis Dunk, who has returned to training but isn’t ready to take part just yet. The club captain, who has been out since early December with a knee injury, has developed a formidable central defensive partnership with former Fulham center back Dan Burn over the past few years. He was central to the clean sheet against Chelsea last season at Stamford Bridge.
1:00 p.m.: Chelsea attackers Timo Werner and Mason Mount will both be looking to return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench against Man City. Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel came under fire for leaving critical players like Mount and Jorginho on the bench for that important game.
Brighton vs. Chelsea lineups
The Seagulls have a number of injury concerns that plague them heading into a tall task against Chelsea. Lewis Dunk remains out with a knee injury, which is a big miss in the heart of the Brighton defense. Also ruled out is the duo of Jeremy Sarmiento and Enock Mwepu , both struggling with thigh injuries. Yves Bissouma is away on AFCON duty.
Adam Lallana is also missing after picking up a knock last time out, failing his late fitness test. Also missing is Shane Duffy who has an ankle problem. Thankfully for Brighton, Tariq Lamptey is back in the starting lineup after his appearance off the bench last time out.
With Lallana unable to prove fit, head coach Graham Potter brings in Colombian international Steven Alzate for his fifth Premier League appearance of the season, leaving 20-year-old Moises Caciedo on the bench awaiting his first start.
Brighton starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Sánchez (GK) – Veltman, Webster, Burn – Cucurella, Gross, Alzate, Lamptey – Moder, Mac Allister – Welbeck
Brighton subs (9): Scherpen (GK), McGill, Maupay, Trossard, March, Caciedo, Roberts, Leonard, Ferguson.
Chelsea is without the usual trio of Reece James , Trevoh Chalobah , and Ben Chilwell who all have missed time due to injury and will likely be sidelined for some time moving forward. Goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is on AFCON 2022 duty, and Andreas Christensen is questionable as he looks to return from a bout with COVID-19.
Otherwise, the squad is fit, and the biggest question for Thomas Tuchel is how to jump-start the sputtering Chelsea attack. The Blues were shut out by Man City in last weekend’s table-topping clash, and they have scored more than two goals in a Premier League match just twice since the start of February.
Tuchel shakes things up in the attack, but not as much as maybe expected. Mason Mount comes back into the side after disappointingly dropping to the bench against Man City. German duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner still remain on the bench, as Hakim Ziyech remains in the lineup. Callum Hudson-Odoi comes into the eleven, likely at wing-back with Cesar Azpilicueta dropping back to the heart of defense. That leaves Christian Pulisic on the bench as well, with the American falling among the substitutes.
Chelsea starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Kepa (GK) – Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger – Alonso, Jorginho, Kante, Hudson-Odoi – Mount, Ziyech – Lukaku.
Chelsea subs (9): Bettinelli (GK), Hall, Sarr, Kovacic, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Havertz, Pulisic, Werner.
How to watch Chelsea vs. Brighton
- Date: Tuesday, Jan. 18
- Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: USA Network
- Streaming: fuboTV (free trial for new users) , NBCSports.com (authenticated users)
The match will also be streamed on NBCSports.com for those with a concurrent cable, satellite or telco subscription.
Chelsea-Brighton betting lines, picks & prediction
Pick : Chelsea win & under 2.5 goals (+260)
Prediction : Brighton 0-2 Chelsea
- Moneyline : Brighton +390 / Draw +270 / Chelsea -130
- Spread : Chelsea -0.5 (-130) / Brighton +0.5 (+115)
- O/U 2.5 total goals : Over +105 / Under -125
- Both teams to score : Yes -110 / No -115