Paul Merson states his prediction for Brighton v Chelsea

Kristopher Nichols
January 21, 2018

Chelsea kick-off this weekend's Premier League action on Saturday hoping to score their first league goal since the first week of January.

Chelsea did score their first goal after three successive scoreless draws.

Besides that, the visitors will be without Alvaro Morata and Pedro - owing to their red cards in the extra time of the FA Cup tie.

Click the right arrow, above, to see talkSPORT's predicted Chelsea XI, listed in squad number order.

The Blues boss has been under fire over the last few months, despite Chelsea picking up in form and shape and sit fourth, level with Liverpool on points and are three points behinds second-placed Manchester United. With his players still sitting deep, Hughton watched on as Glenn Murray cut an isolated figure in attack and his sides only shot on target came as a speculative drive sent straight at the keeper from Bruno Saltor.

The opening match in this weekend's Premier League schedule pits two teams together who have been struggling for goals. Australian Mathew Ryan has impressed in goal, while Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk have bene mainstays at the heart of the back four, with the latter playing every minute of Brighton's campaign so far.

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Steve Sidwell is also out with a back injury but Brighton, otherwise, have a clean bill of health.

The champions will, however, be without the injured Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas while Morata and Pedro are both suspended.

These two teams have met just nine times in their history, with Chelsea taking the honours on seven occasions.

Chris Hughton's side, meanwhile, have taken only one win from their last 12 league matches but have proved hard to beat on their home turf. Chelsea made the brighter start but having had the better of the opening half, both teams remained on parity with no goals but a shot each hitting the woodwork. A scoring-midfield option, at that.

What TV channel is Brighton vs Chelsea on?

Ultimately, the Blues should have just a bit too much class and quality for their opponents, and should be able to leave the South coast with three points under their belt.

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