While the world of football will not remain the same after talks of a European Super League on Sunday, the domestic leagues have to go on and while Chelsea is one of the ‘breakaway‘ clubs, they are currently in a heated Top 4 race and face a testing game on Tuesday night against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Will Tuchel’s players continue their brilliant form despite recent protests against the club?
It is what it is and Thomas Tuchel and his players, quite frankly cannot do anything about the current situation regarding a European Super League and they have to get back to business again.
Chelsea will, however, as a team be in good spirit. Defeating Manchester City at Wembley is a rare occurrence but this Chelsea side drove the Citizens off the park.
While the stats will show that Manchester City had a slightly bigger share of possession, that was not the case for the first 75 minutes of the game. Chelsea passed the ball around like a training drill and Timo Werner was extremely useful to Chelsea’s set-up on the day.
His pace was not something City could handle and Werner’s tireless running finally paid off in the 55th minute when he got on the end of a Mason Mount through ball as he ran till the penalty box to square it to Hakim Ziyech, who finished off with his outstretched left leg into an empty net.
Got the goal, managed the game, shut shop- A pattern Chelsea have often showcased under Tuchel, however, that may not be the case against Brighton on Tuesday night.
Tuesday could be an opportunity for Tuchel to finally rotate the squad and give some rest to a lot of the key members of the squad. While Brighton may not be a walk-by, Chelsea have enough bench strength to beat the Seagulls. With important games to come on the weekend and next week, including the Champions League semi-finals, Tuchel will certainly think about affording some rest to a lot of his starters.
While Andreas Christensen is fit again, Mateo Kovacic is still out with his injury while Tuchel could not provide an expected return date for the Croat. Thiago Silva is also good to go after he was substituted in the dying minutes against City as the defender suffered some back pain.
This gives Tuchel a lot of room to rotate. Ben Chilwell can finally be given a rest after playing 4 games in the space of 10 days while the same can be said for the likes of Jorginho, Mason Mount, Cesar Azpilicueta, and Antonio Rudiger.
While the front 3 will surely be rotated from Saturday, Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic look confirmed starters for the game after their impressive performances in recent weeks. It would be hard to bench either one-off Jorginho or N’golo Kante, but if it has to be done, Billy Gilmour will be up for the challenge, who also made the squad against City. Callum Hudson-Odoi is also very likely to be thrown back into the mix on Tuesday.
Hopefully, for Tuchel, his players remain unaffected by the news on Sunday and carry on business as usual to jump pack into the Top 4 after West Ham faltered on the weekend to Newcastle.
Brighton need to show up on Tuesday as the past weekend showed that the relegation battle is not over yet:
With Newcastle winning on the weekend, Brighton dropped down to 16th in the table, only 6 points away from 18th placed Fulham, although the Seagulls do have two games in hand over Fulham, one of which will be played on Tuesday night against Thomas Tuchel’s Blues.
While Brighton looked comfortable at the start of April, 1 point out of 2 games has put some doubt regarding their place in the Premier League next season.
While Brighton are statistically the best out of the rest, it does not warrant them a guaranteed spot next season with Brighton yet to face the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Wolves, West Ham, and Leeds in the next 5 weeks apart from Chelsea on Tuesday.
Brighton must’ve felt cheated 2 weekends ago when they lost to Manchester United as a clear foul on Danny Welbeck inside the penalty box was blatantly ignored and will be thirsty for a win now, especially after the European Super League debacle on Sunday.
With Chelsea being one of the breakaway clubs, Brighton will want to show the world that they are better than the likes of these rich and greedy clubs and will have extra motivation going for themselves on Tuesday night.
Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay have been in fine form, however, the pair were shooting blanks against Everton last Monday as Brighton registered 23 shots, however, only 3 of them were on target.
The likes of Leandro Trossard and Pascal Groß, with the pair being the chief creators of the side this season while Yves Bissouma continues to be a very critical part of Brighton’s midfield with the Mali midfielder breaking up play constantly in the center of the park.
In regards to injuries, 3 players are set to face late fitness tests before the game on Tuesday with the likes of Aaron Conolly (back), Florin Andone (knee), and Percy Tau (match fitness issues) waiting to make a return into the squad after neither of the 3 making the squad that faced Everton last Monday. Ex Chelsea player Tariq Lamptey is still out with a thigh injury while Solly March is not expected to return anytime soon either after his impending knee issue.
While Brighton failed to beat Chelsea the last time they faced them in their first game of the season, Graham Potter & co. have the opportunity to beat Chelsea on Tuesday and prove that no club is different from the other in this league and make a statement to the rest of Europe with a victory at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea: Edouard Mendy- Cesar Azpilicueta; Kurt Zouma; Thiago Silva- Callum Hudson-Odoi; Marcos Alonso; N’Golo Kante; Jorginho- Hakim Ziyech; Christian Pulisic; Kai Havertz.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Robert Sanchez- Ben White; Lewis Dunk; Joel Veltman- Pascal Groß; Yves Bissouma; Adam Lallana; Jakub Moder- Leandro Trossard; Neal Maupay; Danny Welbeck.