Chelsea will be keen to send a message to the rest of the Premier League that their multi-million pound new-look squad can compete for the title as they face Brighton at the Amex.
The Blues have been one of the busiest clubs during the current transfer window, adding six new faces to their squad, and they will expect to overcome a Brighton side who could be in for another relegation tussle.
Brighton vs Chelsea predictions and betting tips
Our expert tipster is backing a Chelsea win and new customers can claim the excellent 888sport enhanced odds which have the Blues at a big 7/1. If you disagree you can also get Brighton at 40/1.
Chelsea set up to attack
Having finished fourth in his first season in charge of Chelsea, bigger questions will now be asked of Frank Lampard and there is the sense he needs to deliver a trophy, based on the money he has been allowed to spend this summer.
Indeed, the Blues have already spent £200million in this window but there is a really exciting look about the squad, especially in the attacking department, heading into the season opener.
Chelsea’s tally of 69 goals last season was the third-highest in the division, only bettered by Manchester City and Liverpool, but Lampard still saw fit to bring in Germany striker Timo Werner, who scored 28 Bundesliga goals for RB Leipzig in 2019-20.
Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz have also been added to the ranks, with the duo scoring a combined 18 league goals between them last term, while the likes of Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud remain on the books.
It certainly looks like an attack-minded side Lampard is creating and it will be tough for Brighton, who conceded 54 times in 2019-20, to cope with what is thrown at them on Monday evening.
The Seagulls have never beaten Chelsea in the Premier League, losing five and drawing one of the six previous meetings, but Graham Potter’s men were at least hard to beat last season, as they drew 14 matches, the joint-highest number in the division.
Of those six past encounters, a win for the Blues and over 2.5 goals has come in on three occasions and that looks like the route to go down once again at odds of 8/5.
Tip: Chelsea to win and over 2.5 goals @ 7/5 with 888sport
Leaky defences suggest goals in store
As mentioned, Lampard has a plethora of attacking options to choose from and he could decide to start Ziyech, Havertz and Pulisic, if the American has recovered from the hamstring injury he suffered in the FA Cup final, behind Werner, in what would be a mouthwatering front four.
However, scoring goals was not the issue for the Blues last season. It was the frailties at the back that ultimately cost them their chance of winning any silverware.
Although they finished fourth, Chelsea conceded 54 goals, the same number as Brighton, and that figure is way too high for a team hoping to challenge for major honours.
Thiago Silva has been brought in on a free transfer after his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expired, while left-back Ben Chilwell joined for £50m from Leicester City, but they still seem short of a couple of bodies at the back.
Brighton should at least have some hope of finding the back of the net on home soil, and a large chunk of responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Neal Maupay.
The Frenchman, who arrived at the Amex from Brentford last summer, netted 10 times in his debut top-flight campaign and he can be expected to cause some problems for Chelsea’s defence.
Tip: Over 3.5 goals @ 37/20 with 888sport
German to get out of the blocks quickly
There are several candidates to choose from when it comes to the any-time scorer market, but Havertz’s name sticks out like a sore thumb at 13/8 and he gets the nod to hit the back of the net.
At 21, the Germany attacking midfielder is one of the brightest prospects around and he proved his credentials when scoring 12 times in the Bundesliga last season to help Bayer Leverkusen finish fifth.
Havertz can play out wide and through the middle, giving Lampard options on where to field him, and it would be no surprise to see him open his account on debut for the Blues. Werner is also a name we like the look of to get on the scoresheet on his debut, and William Hill are offering an excellent new customer offer below for the striker to score at any time.
Tip: Kai Havertz to score at any time @ 17/10 with 888sport
Brighton vs Chelsea odds
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Brighton team news
Jose Izquierdo and Christian Walton remain sidelined while Davy Propper also looks set to miss out with an Achilles problem. Neal Maupay will lead the line for the Seagulls while Adam Lallana is poised to make his debut in midfield with Pascal Gross and Leandro Trossard either side. Ben White is set to partner Lewis Dunk in central defence with Dan Burn and Joel Veltman occupying the full-back positions.
Brighton predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): Ryan; Veltman, White, Dunk, Burn; Lamptey, Bissouma; Gross, Lallana, Trossard; Maupay
Chelsea team news
Werner and Havertz will make their debuts but Christian Pulisic is expected to start on the bench due to only just returning from injury, meaning Callum Hudson-Odoi will get a chance on the wing. N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are set to line up in central midfield with Mason Mount playing in a more advanced role.
Chelsea predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): Caballero; James, Zouma, Rudiger, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho; Havertz, Mount, Hudson-Odoi; Werner
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