Mired in one of the club’s worst starts to a season, Chelsea have been handed a difficult task as they host Brighton and Hove Albion in the EFL Cup third round.
The Blues have just five points through Mauricio Pochettino’s first six Premier League matches in charge, and the squad looks bereft of talent despite Todd Boehly’s outlandish summer spending spree. A weekend defeat to Aston Villa exposed further problems, with discipline becoming a real issue across the young squad.
The Seagulls, meanwhile, sit third in the Premier League table, winning five of their first six games. They slipped to begin Europa League play but turned it around over the weekend by brushing aside Bournemouth despite falling behind early.
Adding to the daunting nature of this fixture, Chelsea have not beaten Brighton in five straight competitive matchups, dating back to a September 2020 victory at the Amex. That stretch includes three draws and two defeats, the latest coming back in April as Brighton turned around an early deficit to win 2-1.
Chelsea vs Brighton match facts
- Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2023
- Kickoff Time: 7:45 p.m. local (2:45 p.m. ET / 11:45 a.m. PT)
- Location: Stamford Bridge (London, England)
- Official: Thomas Bramall
- Last meeting: Chelsea 1-2 Brighton (Apr. 15, 2023 | Premier League)
Chelsea vs Brighton prediction, odds
- Moneyline lean: Brighton (+180)
- Score prediction: Chelsea 1-2 Brighton
Incredibly, of these two Premier League sides, it’s the Seagulls that bettors must be worried about rotating their squad in an early-season cup meeting. Yet even with that, it’s impossible to trust the Blues at this point under Pochettino, and backing Brighton as a road underdog is too good to pass up.
Roberto De Zerbi managed to top Bournemouth over the weekend while still limiting Evan Ferguson, Kaoru Mitoma, and Ansu Fati all to just 45 minutes each, and Joao Pedro only logged 27 minutes off the bench, meaning the attacking talent in this team has been rested for this game. De Zerbi won’t overlook this competition, knowing that emerging with this trophy is undoubtedly a realistic outcome, and his squad is deep enough to take it seriously.
to score Y / N
|Over / Under
|+130||+270||+180||-190 / +130||-165 / +120||-140||+100|
Chelsea vs Brighton: best bet
- Pick: Brighton to win 2H & over 1.5 goals
- Odds: +400 (BetMGM)
As far as Premier League play is concerned, this matchup features the best second-half team in the English top flight (Brighton) against one of the worst teams after the break (Chelsea).
Brighton have racked up a whopping 13 second-half goals so far through six league games — three more than anyone else — on 7.78 xG (expected goals). While that should regress to the mean, it clearly underpins their ability to outlast opponents. Chelsea, meanwhile, have scored just two second-half goals, joint-worst in the league.
The Seagulls have snatched at least one second-half goal in the past four meetings between these clubs, and they’re likely to manage that again, especially if Chelsea continue to have disciplinary issues and find themselves with fewer than 11 players on the field.
Chelsea vs Brighton prop bet
- Pick: Joao Pedro to score or assist a goal
- Odds: +160 (FanDuel)
- Pick: Karou Mitoma to score or assist a goal
- Odds: +165 (FanDuel)
While Evan Ferguson has started the season with a bang, Kaoru Mitoma is the engine that makes this Brighton attack go. He’s got three goals and three assists, while his 2.46 xG and 2.01 xA (expected assists) prove those numerous early goal contributions aren’t a complete fluke.
Meanwhile, Joao Pedro has put up 2.06 xG and 1.06 xA, the only Brighton player other than Mitoma with over 1.0 in both categories, despite playing just 272 minutes thus far. If he earns a start here in a midweek cup match, he is a real threat to trouble Chelsea.
Wait until lineups are confirmed to make these selections, but if one or both are in De Zerbi’s XI, there’s real value on either to create danger up front.
Chelsea vs Brighton live stream, TV channel