Sunday’s match against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium might just set the tone for Chelsea’s mood heading into the Christmas period.
Chelsea recorded their best win of the season a week ago against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge, but their celebrations were short-lived as the Blues drew away in Hungary against MOL Vidi last Thursday.
After the match against Manchester City, Maurizio Sarri warned his players that they must not be complacent against weaker opposition, and it became a self-fulfilling prophecy on Thursday night.
As Chelsea left half of their first team squad back in London to rest, it was a chance for young players and some of the squad players to put performances that would leave a mark on their manager. Instead, Chelsea’s players seemed to coast through the match, salvaging a draw via free kicks from Willian and Olivier Giroud.
Chelsea’s first 11 should all start the match against Brighton, but with a couple absentees. Giroud is likely to continue to lead the line while the severity of Alvaro Morata’s knee injury is still being assessed, and either Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Ross Barkley will start in place of Mateo Kovacic who went off injured with a muscle injury against Manchester City.
But Brighton aren’t going to make it easy on Chelsea, especially since they’ve been on recent run of good form. Two wins from their last three matches has Brighton climbing into the realms of mid-table.
Shane Duffy is still suspended after his sending off against Crystal Palace, but Glenn Murray should fit again which kept him amongst the substitutes last week.
For Brighton, this is really a bonus match, and if they can take points off of Chelsea at home, it will be a great result for them as far as solidifying their mid-table position.
For Chelsea, this is almost a must-win, not just in terms of keeping up with the rest of the top 5, but in terms of showing the mentality that Sarri wants and maintaining their sharpness against teams that they should be beating.