Chelsea take on Brighton on Tuesday afternoon in the Premier League as the festive period comes to an end for another year.
It has been a mixed feeling for the Blues in December with three wins, a draw and a defeat to their name coming into the Seagulls fixture. The most recent being a goalless draw in Merseyside to Everton as once again, the final product was lacking.
However, the newly promoted side haven’t had it any easier, with their roles being a complete reversal of Chelsea’s. Three defeats and just four points collected since the start of the month. Despite that, Chris Hughton’s side come in on the back of a 1-0 home win after beating a struggling Watford side at the Amex.
Antonio Conte will have his top goalscorer back available at his disposal after the Spaniard missed the trip to Everton at the weekend due to an accumulation of yellow cards. He was missed on Saturday with the Blues having no aerial threat against a resolute Everton side.
Meanwhile, David Luiz and Charly Musonda remain out with knee and groin injuries respectively.
Brighton welcome back defender Shane Duffy to the Seagulls side as he missed the win over Watford through suspension. Former Blues midfielder Steve Sidwell though will miss the Boxing Day clash as he is carrying a knee injury.
The season is at its half way point as the places between the sides is evident. Chelsea sit in the third but Brighton are in a respectable position of 12th, something that they would have taken following their promotion last season to the top flight.
But it is going to be a tough ask for Chris Hughton to come to the Premier League champions on Tuesday afternoon to take away any kind of result, considering their recent form, however the Seagulls will be buoyed by the ability of Burnley to come to Stamford Bridge to take all three points.
With Alvaro Morata back, Conte has is preferred option upfront, and having a focal point back in the team, something that was missing against Everton, it could prove to be the difference between the sides. Brighton will look to hold firm and stay in the game but with their only win over Chelsea stretching back to 1933, the odds are stacked against them.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Brighton