Brighton v Chelsea: Back another stalemate for Seagulls

Paul Higham thinks that a lack of players, urgency and the recent stats suggest that the draw is a real possibility between Brighton and Chelsea...

Seagulls hard to beat this season

It's just one defeat in eight in the Premier League for Graham Potter's Brighton, who earned a stoppage time point through Danny Welbeck at Stamford Bridge just four games ago.

They've won two points more away from home than back at the Amex but their performances have been much better on their travels - with just nine goals at home only Burnley, Norwich and Wolves have scored less in their own backyard.

This will play out more like an away game though with Chelsea likely having more of the ball, so that will suit Potter's men, who don't lose many and absolutely love a draw.

Only Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea have lost fewer games but nobody can match Brighton's 10 draws this season. Who knows what the team news will be with Covid and the likes these days, but this could well shape up to be another stalemate.

Title all-but gone for Chelsea

It's now three games without a win for Chelsea, a run which started three weeks ago with a home draw against the Seagulls and continued with that damaging defeat to Man City.

Despite Thomas Tuchel promising to be more adventurous against the champions, Chelsea could hardly land a blow with just one shot on target as City again did just enough to earn three points.

Now sitting 13 points behind City with 16 games left to play, it's looking like Tuchel now has to concentrate on locking up a top four spot and aiming for the cup competitions.

Tuchel's shown himself to be a fine cup manager and they're still in for three this season so focus will go on those, but for now they're desperate for a league victory to end this rut they've found themselves in.

Another stalemate for Seagulls?

It's not back-to-back draws for Brighton against Chelsea having previously lost 10 and drawn just one of the first 11 meetings. They've also never even taken the lead against the Blues in nine Premier League contests.

Not leading for a single minute against an opponent is just one reason why Brighton are big 5.2 home underdogs to win against big 1.79 favourites Chelsea.

Chelsea have never lost against Brighton in 13 league games (W3 D10) and that's a record for the club. They've also scored in all nine away games against Brighton in all competitions.

So we can probably expect Chelsea to score again, but you've got to be looking at the draw at 3.85 for this game for a number of factors.

Yes, Tuchel will want a response after that deflating Man City defeat, but that was a huge blow and his team knows now that they're out of the title running. Against a hard-working Brighton side at home it'll be tough to keep the motivation high for 90 minutes.

There's also Brighton's form - with 10 draws from just 20 games it doesn't take Carol Vorderman to work out drawing 50% of your games is quote a lot! It's the most in 20 games since Sunderland drew 11 from 20 back in 2014-15.

You can get a score draw at 5.0 to add a bit of extra meat on the bones.

Beware a Brighton late show

Brighton have found the right formula against Chelsea of late, and they've actually had more shots than the Blues in their last three league meetings.

If they can continue to find ways of getting chances then they'll again prove tricky opposition.

And if you're an in-play fan note that the Seagulls have scored seven times in the last 10 minutes of league games this season - bagging them seven points in the process.

They don't score many though so you're safe going under 2.5 goals aty 1.82 and with changes likely and selections depending on availability it'll be a slow burner.

The half time draw is well worth backing at 2.2.

With Chelsea big favourites their main scoring threats are a bit tight in the market, especially given we're not sure what team Tuchel will be able to select - but if there is a Brighton goal to come then chances are Neal Maupay will supply it.

He's got eight goals this season, including four in his last seven games and at 3.4 as an anytime scorer he's probably the pick of the bunch.

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