Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Brighton
Posted On March 22, 2019
The Blues are under some pressure after losing two of their last three league games, as they welcome the champions to west London
Chelsea recovered from a bad run of form after their impressive 2-0 win against the Premier League champions at Stamford Bridge, but Maurizio Sarri will be keen to avoid complacency against Brighton.
The Italian has repeatedly complained of a ‘strange mentality’ and ‘lack of determination’ from his players and was most angry with his team’s performance in an away defeat to Wolves.
He is keen to capitalise on the win over Man City, to win against teams outside the top six but Chris Hughton’s side will be tough opposition due to their impressive start to the season sitting in mid-table.
Chelsea have rested a host of players due to a dead rubber mid-week Europa League clash against MOL Vidi. The likes of Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta were all left at home.
Alvaro Morata picked up a knock in Budapest but Sarri told journalists after Thursday’s game that ‘the first impression of the doctor maybe it is not a serious injury.’ However, Morata remains a doubt for Chelsea.
Three other players stayed in England due to physical problems including Mateo Kovacic, who appeared to get a thigh strain and came off against Man City. Sarri also said that fringe players Victor Moses and Gary Cahill were left out of the last game due to injury.
Cahill may see limited game time until the end of December and Sarri comfirmed in his pre-match press conference that a January move looks likely for the former England international.
“I respect him very much because he has won everything with this club,” Sarri told reporters. I have to do my job. Every match, I have to choose. For me, he is not able to [be] on the bench.
“Maybe he is the best in the box, but our defenders may play 100 or 110 balls in a match so I need very technical defenders.”
On the possibility of Cahill leaving, he added: “It is not my decision, but it is up to him and the club.”
Chelsea have no players suspended for the match but Shane Duffy is out for Brighton. N’Golo Kante, Alvaro Morata, Jorginho and Antonio Rudiger have the most bookings this season for the Blues, with three apiece.
Chelsea rested a whole host of stars in the 2-1 Europa League win over MOL Vidi in Budapest and they are now likely to start XI different players against Brighton.
Sarri has prioritised the Premier League over the European group stage this season, after the Blues got a fairly easy group and won it with two games to spare.
Chelsea have made fewer changes in the Premier League than any other team in the league, except for Wolves. They will play their strongest possible line up in the away trip to the Amex Stadium.
Kovacic’s injury may see either Ruben Loftus-Cheek or Ross Barkley come in to replace him after he started last weekend.
Club-record signing Alireza Jahanbakhsh looks likely to be absent and has missed the last five matches for Brighton. José Izquierdo is a doubt after picking up a knock.
The match at Stamford Bridge kicks off at 1:30pm GMT (8:30pm ET) on Saturday but it won’t be shown on TV in the UK.