Premier League

Brighton & Hove Albion-Chelsea Preview

Thomas Tuchel is "super concerned" about the welfare of his Chelsea players given the quick turnaround in fixtures ahead of Wednesday's clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Blues were without a number of key players for Sunday's 3-1 win against Aston Villa due to coronavirus and injury problems.

Tuchel was forced to rush Romelu Lukaku and Callum Hudson-Odoi back to action after recent lay-offs, while the German has also admitted to overworking midfielder N'Golo Kante.

And there is no let-up for Chelsea as they face Brighton and Liverpool in the space of four days, all of which leaves Tuchel worried about pushing his group too far.

"I am very impressed with my players but super concerned," he said. "We let Hudson-Odoi play for 90 minutes (against Villa) because we needed to change other players. Who decides that?

"And maybe we made a big mistake letting players play after coronavirus and one or two training sessions.

"Obviously (the Premier League) made us play and so we play. This cannot be the right way. People at the green table and people in offices take these decisions. It's how it is."

Brighton have themselves had a two-day break since their last match - a 2-0 win over Brentford that snapped a 12-match winless run in all competitions.

Like Tuchel, Albion boss Graham Potter believes more could be done to protect players.

Discussing the prospect of returning to five substitutions per game, rather than the current three, Potter said: "Our position was always five subs. That was what we voted for.

"Our stance was always that and then it is up to the league to decide."

Chelsea - Jorginho

The Italy midfielder scored two more penalties in Chelsea's win over Villa and has now converted 10 spot-kicks in the Premier League in 2021, a record in a single calendar year.

There is more to Jorginho's game than scoring from 12 yards, of course, but Tuchel will be grateful to have a player so reliable from the pressure situations.

Brighton - Danny Welbeck

Albion have failed to score in their six previous away league games against Chelsea. If that is to change, they will need their attacking players to be on top of their game at Stamford Bridge.

Welbeck returned from a three-month lay-off on Boxing Day and his presence has helped to ease some of the pressure on Neal Maupay alongside him.

- Chelsea have never lost a league game against Brighton, winning 10 and drawing two of their 12 games. It is the most the Blues have faced an opponent without ever losing in their league history.

- Having lost eight of their first 12 Premier League away games in London (W2 D2), Brighton have lost just three of their last 13 visits to the capital in the competition (W2 D8).

- Brighton have never led in eight Premier League meetings with Chelsea. In the competition's history, only two sides have faced another more without leading for a single minute - Sheffield United against Manchester City (10) and Portsmouth against Chelsea (14).

- Chelsea have lost their final league game in just one of the last 18 calendar years (W12 D5), losing 3-1 at home to Aston Villa in 2011.

- Brighton have lost just once away from home in the Premier League this season (W2 D5), having lost each of their last three on the road in the 2020-21 campaign. However, the Seagulls are winless in their last six away league games, having won their first two this season.

Updated December 28, 2021