The Premier League returns, and we tell some of the stories worth knowing ahead of Monday night's game in the form of Chelsea and Brighton statistics...
Brighton vs Chelsea head to head
Chelsea and Brighton meet for only for the 11th occasion in the league (seventh in the top-flight) and 14th overall.
Last season’s corresponding fixture was the first time we had dropped points against the Seagulls. Overall we have won 11 of the 14 encounters in all competitions.
Amongst sides they have faced in English league football, Chelsea are the only team Brighton have failed to beat.
Brighton have lost 11 of their last 12 games against Chelsea in all competitions, conceding 26 goals and scoring three in return.
All five of Chelsea’s away wins against Brighton in all competitions have come under different managers: Dave Sexton, John Neal, Bobby Campbell, Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri.
Brighton’s only victory against the Blues was in the third round of the FA Cup in 1932/33 (our first meeting). George Barber scored our only goal in a 1-2 defeat.
Biggest win for each team
Brighton 0-4 Chelsea - 2017/18 Premier League
Brighton 2-1 Chelsea - 1932/33 FA Cup
Last season's corresponding fixture
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 1 CHELSEA 1
Premier League, Amex Stadium, 01.01.20, 12.30pm
Brighton & Hove Albion (4-1-2-1-2): Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk (c), Burn (Bernardo 22); Propper; Bissouma (Connolly h/t), Alzate; Mooy (Jahanbakhsh 68); Maupay, Trossard
Unused subs Button, Duffy, Stephens, Gross
Manager Graham Potter
Booked Dunk 71, Maupay 90
Scorer Jahanbakhsh 84
Chelsea (4-3-3): Arrizabalaga; James, Rudiger, Zouma, Azpilicueta (c); Kante, Jorginho, Mount (Kovacic 72); Willian, Abraham, Pulisic (Hudson-Odoi 65)
Unused subs Caballero, Lamptey, Christensen, Emerson, Batshuayi.
Manager Frank Lampard
Booked Zouma 69, Kovacic 81, James 90+4
Scorer Azpilicueta 10
Referee Stuart Attwell
Chelsea have only lost two of our last 21 opening weekend fixtures in the Premier League (16 wins, three draws) although both have come in the past three seasons (Burnley at home in 2017 and Man Utd away last term).
Chelsea have begun a league season on a Monday only twice in the Roman Abramovich era. We went on to win the league title on both occasions. 2014 (Burnley 3-1) and 2016 (West Ham 2-1).
Frank Lampard’s side kept one clean sheet on the road last season in the Premier League, conceding an average two goals per game.
The Blues won our final Premier League game in July against Wolves but have lost the last two to Arsenal in the FA Cup final and Bayern Munich in the Champions League. We haven’t lost three consecutive matches since August 2006.
Our only pre-season friendly was at Brighton on 29 August before the international break when the sides drew 1-1. Brighton used 24 players over the 90 minutes and Chelsea 23.
The starting XIs were:
Brighton (5-3-2): Ryan; Veltman, White, Dunk (c), Webster, March; Lallana, Bissouma, Alzate; Trossard, Maupay
Scorer: Gross 90 (pen)
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Arrizabalaga; James, Christensen, Clarke-Salter, Alonso; Kante (c), Kovacic; Ziyech, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi; Werner
Scorer: Werner 4
Eleven first team squad players were called up for international duty last week.
Minutes played: Christensen 180, Rudiger 180, Werner 180 (1 goal), Kante 153, Kovacic 151, Hudson-Odoi 118, Giroud 117 (1 pen), Jorginho 90, Mount 30. Arrizabalaga was twice an unused sub and James returned to the club with an injury prior to the first game.
Last season’s Premier League stats
Most starts: Azpilicueta 36, Arrizabalaga 33, Mount 32, Willian 29, Jorginho 27
Most goals: Abraham 15, Pulisic 9, Willian 9, Giroud 8, Mount 7
Most assists: Willian 7, Azpilicueta 6, Hudson-Odoi 5, Mount 5
Most clean sheets: Arrizabalaga 8
Timo Werner was the fourth-highest league scorer (28 goals) in Europe’s top five leagues for RB Leipzig in 2019/20 behind Ciro Immobile (36), Robert Lewandowski (34) and Cristiano Ronaldo (31).
Chelsea need a victory to reach 2,000 points in the Premier League and to become only the third team to each that landmark after Manchester United (2,234) and Arsenal (2,011).
A win on Monday would be our 600th since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. Coincidentally it could also be our 400th victory in the Premier League in the same period.
If selected, Marcos Alonso will make his 150th appearance for the Blues in all competitions.
Premier League - 15th
FA Cup - third round
Carabao Cup - third round
Top scorer all competitions: Neal Maupay 10
Last season’s Premier League stats
Most appearances: Ryan 38, Maupay 37, Dunk 36, Propper 35
Most goals: Maupay 10, Trossard 5, Connolly 3, Dunk 3, Webster 3
Most assists: Gross 4, Dunk 3, Maupay 3, Trossard 3
Most clean sheets: Ryan 9
Brighton won five of their 19 home league games last term including against Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton although they have only won one of their nine Premier League games at the Amex in 2020 (v Arsenal).
Overall Graham Potter’s side have won three of their 18 Premier League matches this calendar year, the fewest of any current side.
Brighton have not lost a league game on a Monday since April 2015 (0-1 v Rotherham). They have won four and drawn six on that day since. All five of the Seagulls’ Premier League games played on Mondays have ended as draws.
Brighton did not lose any of the eight home Premier League games in which they took the lead last term.
Brighton are unbeaten in their past three Premier League games, They are yet to go four games without defeat in the competition under Graham Potter.
Apart from the Seagulls' game with Chelsea in front of a 2,524 crowd, Brighton played out a goalless draw against West Brom last weekend at the Amex behind closed doors.
Brighton's last Premier League game last season
Sunday 26 July 2020
Burnley 1 Brighton 2
Team (3-4-1-2): Ryan; Webster, Dunk (c), Burn; Lamptey, Bissouma (Propper 73), Stephens, March (Bernardo 73); Mac Allister (Mooy 74); Connolly (Murray 90), Maupay (Jahanbakhsh 90+3)
Scorers: Bissouma 20, Connolly 50
Brighton’s major summer transfer moves
Adam Lallana Liverpool
Lars Dendoncker Club Brugge
Joel Veltman Ajax
Shane Duffy Celtic, loan
Anthony Knockaert Fulham
Martin Montoya Real Betis
Aaron Mooy Shanghai SIPG
Glenn Murray Watford, loan
Mateo Kovacic is suspended for one match for his red card against Arsenal in the FA Cup final.
Referee and VAR
Referee: Craig Pawson
VAR: Kevin Friend
Craig Pawson is the referee for his first Blues Premier League game of 2020. His two league games last term were at Everton and Arsenal in December. He also was the official for our FA Cup game at Hull in January.