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First league start for Lukaku since October - How Chelsea could line up against Brighton

Thomas Tuchel is still without a fully fit squad, but he'll be pleased with Romelu Lukaku's comeback cameo against Aston Villa

Chelsea host Brighton & Hove Albion hoping their Boxing Day victory over Aston Villa is a sign of things to come.

The Blues ran out 3-1 winners, with half-time substitute Romelu Lukaku making the difference.

He beautifully headed home from a pinpoint Callum Hudson-Odoi cross to put Chelsea ahead, before winning a late penalty, which was converted by Jorginho, following a surging run from the halfway line.

It was the kind of performance Chelsea had been missing since Diego Costa's departure, and signalled their intentions for the remainder of the season. Lukaku even called them "the hunters now" in his post-match interview, showing they haven't given up on the title yet.

They currently sit third in the league, and will see a home game against Brighton & Hove Albion, who hadn't won in 12 games in all competitions before their own Boxing Day win over Brentford, as a must-win.

News that Ben Chilwell requires surgery on his ACL injury comes as a hammer blow for Thomas Tuchel, as will the knocks suffered by both N'Golo Kante and Thiago Silva against Villa.

But, how will Chelsea line up against Brighton?

Edouard Mendy will once again be in goal, although Kepa Arrizabalaga will need to be ready for when the Senegal international departs for the African Cup of Nations in January.

Trevoh Chalobah was forced off at half-time with a knock against Villa, and it appears he will miss out against The Seagulls; Cesar Azpilicueta will take his place.

Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger will make up the rest of the back three.

Reece James didn't have his best game against Villa but will stay at right wing-back, but Marcos Alonso could well be replaced by Saul Niguez. Tuchel wants a new left wing-back following Chilwell's surgery, and the Spaniard looks set to drop back down to the bench.

Mateo Kovacic has returned to fitness, and he will partner Jorginho in Kante's absence.

Mason Mount and Hudson-Odoi will play either side of Lukaku.

Potential Chelsea Starting XI vs Brighton

Chelsea vs Brighton - Football tactics and formations

Recent Ratings

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78
Chelsea
VS
  Average Match Rating  
7.4
  Home  
7.0
6.6
  Away  
6.7
7.0
  Total  
6.8

Match statistics

Chelsea
Statistics
Brighton
Games Played
20
20
 
Results
 
Wins
13
7
Draws
5
8
Losses
2
5
 
Goals Scoring
 
Goals Scored
45
22
Goals Per Game
2.25
1.10
More > 2.5 Goals
11
5
More > 3 Goals
8
3
Scored First in a Match
16
7
Scored Both Halves
9
3
Won More > 1 Goal
8
4
 
Other
 
Goals Conceded
16
19
Did Not Score
2
6
Both Teams Scored
10
9
Kept Clean Sheet
9
8
Won Without Conceding
8
5
Games Played
20
20
 
Possession
 
Touches
842
724
Possession
66
58
Passes
655
537
 
Attacking
 
Total Shots
17
12
Shots on Target
6.70
3.90
Goals out of Shots
0.14
0.11
Crosses
26
18
Offsides
2.24
1.92
Penalties
0.50
0.15
 
Defensive
 
Clean Sheets
0.45
0.40
Tackles Won
7.30
9.58
Clearances
12
17
Interceptions
8.70
9.25
Own Goals
0.05
0.00
Aerials Won
15
14
Total Shots Conceded
7.70
12
Shots on Target Conceded
3.28
4.05
Goals out of Shots Conceded
0.10
0.08
 
Discipline
 
Fouls
11
9.60
Yellow Cards
1.45
1.95
Red Cards
0.00
0.05

Injuries

  1. COVID-19 image description
  2. COVID-19 image description
  3. Knee Injury image description
  4. Hip/Thigh Injury image description
  5. COVID-19 image description
  6. Hip/Thigh Injury image description
  7. Hip/Thigh Injury image description
  8. Knee Injury image description
  9. ACL Knee Ligament Injury image description