A new-look Chelsea will be looking to kick start the new season in style when they travel to the AMEX Stadium to face Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday night.
Adam Lallana, Joel Veltman and Ben White could make Premier League debuts for the Seagulls. Lallana and Veltman were signed from Liverpool and Ajax respectively over the summer, whilst centre back White is back at the AMEX following a successful loan spell with Leeds last term.
Chelsea fans will have to wait to see Hakim Ziyech in competitive action due to a knee injury, with Ben Chilwell also out for Lampard’s side after a heel concern. Thiago Silva may not be match fit in time for the clash at the South Coast, but there is excitement around the debuts of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who are set to start.
The Seagulls have opted for a 5-4-1 approach in their pre-season campaign, with White lining up with Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster at the heart of the Albion defence in front of Aussie No. 1 Mat Ryan.
Veltman started the pre-season game against Chelsea, although Tariq Lamptey will be pushing for a starting place against his former club with Steven Alzate on the left hand side.
Yves Bissouma has been linked with a move away from the south coast after impressing in midfield and he will line up with new signing Lallana in the middle of midfield, with Leandro Trossard and Solly March either side of the central pair.
That will leave Neal Maupay up front, with the Frenchman looking to improve on his 10-goal tally from his debut campaign in the Premier League.
The Blues will line up with Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, although with Edouard Mendy’s pending arrival he will be hoping for a clean sheet and a good performance against the Seagulls.
With Thiago Silva and Chilwell missing, Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso could form the back four for Lampard, with the Blues boss likely to adapt a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Ngolo Kante and either Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic will sit in front of the defensive line, with Havertz in line to make his full debut in the front four alongside Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic. Werner will lead the line and will hope to make an instant impact as he begins life in the Premier League.
ONES TO WATCH
Adam Lallana will be hoping to inject some creativity in the Albion final third on his debut at the AMEX Stadium. The sought-after playmaker opted to join Graham Potter’s side with their style of play one of the major factors, so he will be looking to make his mark as he enjoys regular playing time.
Eyes will be on new duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner to see how quickly they can get off the ground in the Premier League. The pair lit up the Bundesliga last season, with Werner’s goal record only beaten by Robert Lewandowski whilst Havertz scored 0.44 goals on average every 90 minutes, whilst also creating 0.58 big chances in the same period.
HEAD TO HEAD
Chelsea have traditionally enjoyed their games with Brighton over the years, with Albion drawing just one of their six Premier League fixtures and the Blues winning the other 5 with an aggregate score of 14-2.
However, the Seagulls will be hoping for a contest much like their last with Lampard’s men back on New Year’s Day where they drew 1-1 at the AMEX Stadium.
Azpilicueta fired the visitors ahead inside ten minutes on the south coast, only for a goal of the season contender from Ali Jahanbakhsh six minutes from time to earn the Seagulls a much deserved point.
WHERE TO WATCH
The game is live on Sky Sports as part of all Premier League games being televised in September – kick off is 8:15PM.