Big spenders Chelsea aiming to take it to the next level
Chelsea to win 2-0
Chelsea have left no penny unspent this summer, it seems, making up for lost time after their transfer ban last summer.
German wonderkid Kai Havertz became the latest to join Frank Lampard’s revolution when he signed last week for £70m, joining fellow countryman Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva. They’ve spent over £200m already this summer, with three weeks of the window remaining.
Brighton are naturally more modest spenders but won plenty of respect last season for finishing comfortably in 15th.
Manager Graham Potter does not have the same glitz and glamour at his disposal as Lampard, but he does have a team who are hard to beat.
They have never beaten Chelsea in the league, however. Stranger things have happened on the opening day of the Premier League, but it would be some shock for it to happen this weekend.
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 15th
Reasons to be cheerful:
Proved hard to beat last season
Adam Lallana will add intelligence to their midfield
Reasons to be fearful:
Lack of results against big teams last season
Chelsea’s new signings will want to start with a bang
Although they have never beaten Chelsea, Brighton will take motivation from their 1-1 draw in their home fixture on New Year’s Day – a game which The Seagulls could well have claimed all three points if they had taken their chances.
They are not a team with a good record against the top teams, however. Despite recording wins against Arsenal and Tottenham last season, it was victories against the teams around them which helped them stay in the league.
Chelsea will be a different beast this year.
Sure, their new players will need time to gel, but the likes of Timo Werner will be desperate to live up to the hype on debut. He scored 34 goals last season in Germany and will want to continue that here.
If Chelsea click, it could be a long afternoon for Brighton.
Star Man – Neal Maupay
Their topscorer managed 10 goals last season and is a figurehead for the team going forward.
Predicted 2020/21 finish: 4th
Reasons to be cheerful
The best transfer window of any Premier League side
Frank Lampard is highly motivated to succeed at Chelsea
Reasons to be fearful
New signings may not click together straight away
Brighton is not the easiest place to go and win
No one can doubt Chelsea’s ambition. They do not subscribe to many people’s feelings that it will be another two-horse race between Liverpool and Manchester City this year.
£200m worth of new players to add to an already exciting squad including the likes of Cristian Pulisic and Mason Mount will give Chelsea fans great hope of running the Champions close.
For all their attacking riches, Chelsea often struggled at the back last season. Despite finishing 11 places higher than Brighton, they conceded the same number of goals, 54. It is for this reason they have signed highly experienced Thiago Silva from PSG, as well as England’s number one left-back Chilwell.
Time will tell whether their signings will click together, but they will fancy their chances against Brighton.
Star Man – Timo Werner
The German will be looking to explode out of the blocks in England. The media, and fans, have hyped Werner up for some time and he will want to show his worth.
Chelsea will want to start quickly and control the game
If the Blues score early, it could be a high score-line
Brighton must keep it tight to stand a chance
On paper, this looks like a win for Chelsea to start the season. They have the firepower, new and existing, and are playing an opposition who have never won against them.
Despite that, they will want to avoid complacency. Even £200m does not guarantee you a win in the Premier League and we don’t know how Chelsea’s new signings will fit together.
Time will tell whether Chelsea will challenge the top two – but for now at least, they should have enough for Brighton.
Chelsea to win 2-0