Brighton and Chelsea have had plenty of transfer dealings in the past few seasons. Midfielder Moises Caicedo and goalkeeper Rob Sanchez joined the Blues for a combined £140million last month, with defender Levi Colwill also returning to Stamford Bridge after a season-long loan deal with the Seagulls. Marc Cucurella also left Brighton to join Chelsea for £63m, while midfielder Billy Gilmour and full-back Tariq Lamptey have moved in the opposite direction in recent seasons for far more modest fees.
Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi insists he will give his old players “a hug” if he bumps into them at Stamford Bridge but the Italian has more pressing issues on his mind as he juggles his squad amid the rigours of Premier League, Europa League and Carabao Cup fixtures. Brighton are an impressive third in the Premier League table following five wins from their opening six fixtures, with Chelsea languishing in the bottom half. De Zerbi said: “We have big respect for Pochettino and Chelsea. They have a great squad, but I don’t know about the problems they have. For us, it will be a very tough game.”
Brighton will take a late decision on striker Evan Ferguson after withdrawing the teenager at half-time against Bournemouth, while midfielder Pascal Gross will be absent again. Lamptey could feature at left back, while Gilmour could be rested ahead of Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa.
“I have not decided about Evan yet,” said the Italian. “I would like him to play at his best. He wasn’t in his best physical condition on Sunday but he wanted to play. We have to change the XI and take the best decisions game-by-game.”
Here’s how the Seagulls could line-up for this one (4-2-3-1)...