The Carabao Cup fixture between Chelsea and Brighton takes place on Wednesday. Brighton, managed by De Zerbi, face a struggling Pochettino-led Chelsea.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men succumbed to yet another defeat at the weekend as a goal in the second half by Ollie Watkins was enough for Aston Villa to take all 3 points. It was yet another disastrous game for the Blues who missed a flurry of clear-cut chances highlighting their woes in the attacking department. They have scored just 5 goals so far in the league and sit 14th in the table something which is a cause for concern for Pochettino who is starting to face the pressure. There were boos from the home supporters at full time which certainly shows the frustration growing amongst the fanbase and the game in the Carabao Cup could be the right match to change the mood with a win in front of the home crowd.
Brighton and Hove Albion on the other hand are cruising in the league having won 3-1 against AFC Bournemouth at the weekend. A spirited second-half comeback from being 1-0 down took them up to 3rd position in the league table just 3 points off league leaders Manchester City. The Seagulls have scored 18 goals in the league in their first opening 6 games averaging 3 goals per game and De Zerbi’s magic is working yet again this season. The Carabao Cup will be a competition De Zerbi will want to win as it is a great chance for the club to win silverware this season.
When and Where?
Date: 27th September, 2023.
Time: 6:45 PM GMT
Venue: Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have no new injury returns and will be without Trevoh Chalobah, Carney Chukwuemeka, Christopher Nkunku, Wesley Fofana, Benoit Badiashile, Romeo Lavia, Reece James and Marcus Bettinelli for the game. Armando Broja made his first appearance of the season at the weekend in a 15-minute cameo as he made his return to the first team after an eight-month absence. The game might come too soon for him to start and is expected to be named amongst the substitutes. Nicolas Jackson picked up the 5th yellow card of the season and is suspended for the next game but will be available for the Carabao Cup fixture. Noni Madueke, Ian Maatsen and Cole Palmer will all be in contention to start as Pochettino will look to rotate his thin squad to avoid any more injuries. Ben Chilwell is also expected to start the game having being benched in the last two fixtures to replace Thiago Silva in defence which will see Levi Colwill move into the heart of the defence.
Brighton will be without Julio Enciso and Jakub Moder as the duo are still nursing their injuries. James Milner and Pascal Gross are doubtful and will have to pass a late fitness test to make it into the travelling squad. New summer signing Ansu Fati, Adam Lallana and Solly March are all in contention to start as De Zerbi will want to rotate his squad.
The 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa means Chelsea have won just 1 of their first 6 games so far this season which came against Luton Town. Pochettino and Co. have had their struggles with injuries as the Blues currently have more than 7 players in the treatment room. The injuries and inconsistent finishing have been the major reasons behind the woeful performances for the Blues.
The Blues have now missed 15 big chances which is the joint highest in the division and are lacking the final product in attack. The team is able to create chances but the attacking players have been disappointing at converting them. Nicolas Jackson has been inconsistent and managed to score just 1 goal so far while the lack of depth in the striker department has left Pochettino with no back up to look at. The wingers have also been ineffective in games and Raheem Sterling has shown glimpses of being a threat here and there but hasn’t been able to do much as there is no cohesion amongst the attack. The Blues will have to find a solution soon to their problems and giving the younger players a chance might as well do the trick for Poch against Brighton.
Brighton have been clinical in their finishing and will look to continue it against the Blues. De Zerbi will want to pile on the misery on the Blues and the Italian will be more than happy to rotate his squad to do the same. There have been no concerns for the Seagulls this season so far as their De Zerbi ball is flowing in full style and it is looking increasingly difficult to outwit the Italian’s system. A struggling Chelsea could be the right opportunity for the Seagulls to continue their impressive run and go through to the next round of the competition.
Chelsea predicted lineup vs Brighton: Petrovic, Gusto, Colwill, Disasi, Chilwell, Caicedo, Enzo, Maatsen, Palmer, Madueke, Jackson.
Brighton predicted lineup vs Chelsea: Steele, Lamptey, Webster, Dunk, Estupinan, Dahoud, Gilmour, Fati, Pedro, March, Ferguson.