Soccer News

Chelsea Look to Build on Carabao Cup Victory as Pensioners Host Brighton and Hove Albion

 Chelsea Odds for This Week’s Matches Against Brighton and Hove Albion

 Frank Lampard has a home win, but not a league victory at Stamford Bridge. He also still does not have a clean sheet since taking over, and those are two things Chelsea will look to tick off their to-do list Saturday when they host Brighton and Hove Albion. 

 The Blues, who are -240 favourites to win this match according to FanDuel’s Sports Book, made short work of League Two side Grimsby Town in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, winning 7-1. It was day for Chelsea’s future to take center stage as Lampard handed out six starts to academy players, and nearly all of them found the back of the net. 

 Teenage starlet Reece James set up two goals before adding a well-taken one of his own in the 82nd minute, while Michy Batshuayi made his argument for moving up the pecking order in attack with a brace on either side of halftime. There was also the welcome return of winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who scored on his return after a six-month absence due to a partially torn Achilles, and the Pensioners also received goals from Ross Barkley, Pedro, and Kurt Zouma. 

 The lone point of consternation for Lampard was the first-half goal scored by Grimsby Town’s Matt Green in the 19th minute that briefly made it 2-1 for the hosts. It was the type of direct Route One goal the Chelsea boss and backroom staff explicitly warned could happen if they switched off. 

 It also meant the Pensioners have yet to record a shutout in nine matches across all competitions when including their loss to Liverpool on penalties in the UEFA Super Cup. Those frailties continue to be a sore spot in league play, where Chelsea’s 12 goals are joint-third, but their 13 shipped are better than only promoted Norwich City and last-place Watford. 

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Christian Pulisic also saw his first playing time in nearly a month as he started on the wing in Chelsea’s 4-2-3-1 set-up. But the American international toiled for 90 mostly anonymous minutes save his assist on Batshuayi’s second goal and a pair of halfway decent shots.  

 With Hudson-Odoi’s impending return to first-team action, it is possible the 21-year-old could slide further down Lampard’s preferred list of underneath wingers and attackers, which is already a crowded group that features Pedro, Willlian, Barkley and Mason Mount. 

 Brighton (1-3-2), +650 underdogs for this contest in addition to the +350 return for the teams splitting points, could be the side who help Chelsea finally notch their first shutout. They enter this contest with just one goal in their last four league matches after playing Newcastle United to a scoreless draw at St James’ Park last weekend. 

 The Seagulls are also winless in their last four in all competitions after crashing out of the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 home loss to promoted Aston Villa on Wednesday.  

 Brighton boss Graham Potter also gave his young charges a chance for greatness as seven players made their competitive debuts, with defender Hayden Roberts offering a chance for a fightback with a 61st-minute header. Villa, though, restored their two-goal lead through Jack Grealish on 77 minutes and were never threatened thereafter. 

 Chelsea have done the double in both seasons since Brighton first won promotion in 2017, winning the four meetings by a combined 11-1 scoreline. The Pensioners have won the two top-flight games via shutout and have never conceded a goal to Brighton in five all-time meetings in London.