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English League Cup Betting Preview: Chelsea vs Brighton

September 27, 2023

Chelsea welcome a high-flying Brighton side at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup third-round on Wednesday.

The Seagulls beat Chelsea both home and away in the Premier League last season, including a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge in April. They have lost 4-3 to the Blues in the Premier League Summer Series, though, but Brighton remain unbeaten in their last five competitive matches with Chelsea (2-3-0).

Chelsea's last win over Brighton was a 3-1 success at the Amex Stadium three years ago (September 2020).  

Chelsea Betting Preview (+124 at BetOnline)

Stamford Bridge witnessed another frustrating performance when The Blues lost 1-0 to Aston Villa in the Super Sunday. It was Chelsea's second consecutive 1-0 home loss after a shock defeat to Nottingham Forest prior to the international break.

Moreover, Mauricio Pochettino's side also failed to beat Bournemouth as they were held to a goalless draw at the Vitality Stadium in their first game after the international games.

The Blues are set for a West London derby against Fulham on Monday night but they won't underestimate the importance of the domestic cup games, given the fact that Chelsea are not playing in Europe for the first time since 2016-17. However, the lack of European games back then came after Chelsea finished 10th in 2015-16, but the Blues went on to win the Premier League title next season under Antonio Conte, which seems absolutely unrealistic right now.

All in all, Chelsea are yet to score since a 2-1 League Cup win over League Two side AFC Wimbledon in late-August. They will be desperate to do so against a solid Brighton side and anything else but a victory would still be a disappointment, despite Brighton’s progress. 

Nicolas Jackson scored his first Chelsea goal in the victory against Luton Town last month. And when everyone expected the Senegalese forward to deliver more goals, he accumulated three more yellow cards in his last three appearances for Chelsea.

Considering Jackson's poor form, the Chelsea boss could be tempted to start Armando Broja. The Albanian forward endured a long injury layoff last season and made his debut under Pochettino when he was introduced as a second-half substitute against Aston Villa last weekend.

Serbian goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic is expected to come in for No1 Robert Sanchez on Wednesday night. However, Malo Gusto is set to serve a three-game suspension in all competitions after picking up a straight red card for serious foul play last weekend.

With captain Reece James also sidelined, Axel Disasi is first in line to deputize at right-back. The benefit of an extra day of recovery before Fulham will likely lead to an increased workload for the French defender as a selection crisis takes hold.

Elsewhere, Marcus Bettinelli, Trevoh Chalobah, Benoit Badiashile, Wesley Fofana, Romeo Lavia, Carney Chukwuemeka and Christopher Nkunku are all out injured.

Brighton Betting Preview (+160 at BetOnline)

Having won five of their opening six Premier League games, Roberto De Zerbi's side are sitting inside the top three, just three points behind leaders Manchester City.

Brighton once again lost some of their key players over the summer but the Seagulls still made a very strong start to their domestic campaign. Moreover, reaping the benefits of their best season, the south coast outfit are now enjoying European football for the first time in the club's 121-year history.

Yet, Brighton suffered a disappointing 3-2 home loss to Greek side AEK Athens in their first taste of European football last week.

However, the Seagulls returned to winning ways at the weekend when they came from behind for a 3-1 victory over fellow south coast side Bournemouth, who remained winless.

Brighton are set for three consecutive away games across various competitions. After Wednesday's League Cup clash with Chelsea, they travel to Birmingham to face Aston Villa in the Premier League in Saturday's early kick-off so Roberto De Zerbi could once again rotate his starting side.

The Seagulls will continue their Europa League campaign next week when they face Ligue 1 giants Olympique Marseille before a league match against Liverpool (home) in their last game prior to the October international break.

Roberto De Zerbi left a number of first-team players on the bench against Bournemouth - some of them were introduced in the second half. Barcelona loanee Ansu Fati and Japanese winger Kaoru Mitoma were both brought on as half-time substitutes and the latter made an instant impact, scoring seconds after that. In fact, Mitoma's second-half double inspired Brighton's third consecutive 3-1 win in the Premier League.

The Brighton boss again rotated his goalkeepers, replacing Jason Steele with summer signing Bart Verbruggen so the latter could get another start over Steele, who was involved in Brighton's Europa League debut against AEK Athens.

Adam Lallana enjoyed his first start of the season in Brighton's win at Old Trafford earlier this month and the England veteran remained an unused substitute in the following two games last week. Thus, the 35-year-old midfielder could be handed another start against Chelsea, with De Zerbi looking to reshuffle his starting XI.

Summer signing Igor is still waiting for his Premier League debut but the Brazilian defender started in the Europa League clash against AEK Athens last Thursday. It remains to be seen whether Roberto De Zerbi will hand him another start after the not particularly impressive performance against the Greek side, though.

Roberto De Zerbi has confirmed that midfielder Pascal Gross will miss Wednesday's trip to London in the League Cup third round. The 32-year-old German was forced to miss Sunday's clash with Bournemouth due to a muscle injury.

Summer signing James Milner was also absent with a similar injury and the duo will not be available for selection. In the absence of Milner and Gross, De Zerbi could hand starts to former Chelsea youth players Tariq Lamptey and Billy Gilmour when his side travel to Stamford Bridge.

The Italian tactician has also revealed that striker Evan Ferguson is doubtful and the Irishman will be assessed ahead of kickoff as he is yet to have fully recovered from an injury. Ferguson missed the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against France and the Netherlands earlier this month – after complaining of a knee issue before the international break.

Possible Starting Lineups of Chelsea and Brighton

Chelsea: Djordje Petrovi? - Axel Disasi, Thiago Silva, Levi Colwill, Ben Chilwell - Lesley Ugochukwu, Conor Gallagher - Noni Madueke, Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling - Armando Broja. (4-2-3-1)

Brighton: Jason Steele - Pervis Estupiñán, Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Tariq Lamptey - Billy Gilmour, Adam Lallana - Kaoru Mitoma, Ansu Fati, Solly March - João Pedro. (4-2-3-1)

Spooky Express Betting Prediction

Both teams have found the back of the net in all of Brighton's games this season, with all of them ending with either four or five goals scored.  

The Seagulls also boast the best attacking record in the Premier League - scoring 18 times in six games (two more than Manchester City and Newcastle). However, their defense hasn't been that great (conceding eight goals, which is the eight-best record) but De Zerbi's men often managed to outscore their opponents.

They have only failed to do so in a 3-1 home loss to West Ham in August, as well as in their Europa League opener last week. Yet, Brighton are flawless away from home, winning at Wolves (4-1) and Manchester United (3-1). 

Chelsea, on the other hand, were more often involved in low-scoring affairs this term as Mauricio Pochettino struggles to unleash his side's attacking potential.

This time, though, we expect a high-scoring game with Brighton on the field. 

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 2½, 3 (2.75) Goals -124 at BetOnline for 7/10 Units