- Chelsea v Brighton
- Saturday April 15 2023, 10:00 ET
- At Stamford Bridge
Chelsea’s form is poor, but it could offer value at the current odds as Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge this weekend.
Who do Bettors Favor?
As we can see by checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks bettors do not favor Chelsea despite the Blues being the home team here. Chelsea is priced at around +165, which is the same price available for the away team, Brighton, while the draw is available at between +234 and +246.
|Chelsea v Brighton|
Chelsea’s Carnival of Chaos Continues
English soccer journalists liked to characterize the previous Chelsea regime of Roman Abramovich as unstable, but the fact remains that Abramovich was able to deliver sustained success despite a high turnover of managers, something that the current owners are struggling to emulate.
The Chelsea carnival of chaos under new owner Todd Boehly has so far involved sacking a Champions League-winning manager in Thomas Tuchel, spending over $600 million on players yet somehow ending up with a poorer squad, sacking Tuchel’s successor, Graham Potter and now bringing back Frank Lampard as club manager; a club legend with a mediocre record as head coach.
Chelsea is now 11th in the Premier League table, 17 points adrift of the Champions League places and a scarcely believable 34 points behind Arsenal. And there are no immediate signs of improvement. Lampard’s first game in charge was a 1-0 defeat against Wolves and then his team surrendered meekly to Real Madrid in the first leg of its Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday night.
Brighton Continues to Impress
It took a few games for Roberto de Zerbi to settle in, when he took over from Graham Potter in September, but two big wins just before the World Cup break suggested that his style of football was starting to take root and in 2023, Brighton has continued to impress.
Brighton has only lost twice this calendar year and goes into this weekend’s round of fixtures in seventh place in the Premier League table, with two games in hand over many of the teams above.
The football that De Zerbi’s team is producing is as effective as that seen under Potter but is even more attractive to watch and has resulted in Brighton becoming the fourth-highest goal-scoring team in the Premier League, behind Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham, all of which have played more games.
Its style of play does make Brighton unpredictable, as a home defeat to Fulham and a 3-3 draw with Brentford demonstrates, but overall, this is a team on the up that is getting ever closer to European football and to a place at the top table of the English game.
EPL Betting Head-to-Head
English football is full of long-standing rivalries, but this is one of the less common fixtures. In fact, Brighton has played Chelsea only 19 times, with the first meeting occurring in 1922.
The head-to-head record reflects the fact that Brighton and Chelsea have spent most of their history in different divisions. Their first four meetings, all of which game between 1933 and 1973, were in the FA Cup and the two teams did not play a league fixture until 1983.
Although Brighton won its first-ever game against Chelsea, the London club has dominated the rivalry for most of its history. Between 1967 and 1919, Chelsea won all 11 games against Brighton and has only lost twice to the Seagulls, although the rivalry has become more even. In their six games since the start of 2020, four have been draws and the other two games were shared, with Brighton winning 4-1 when the two teams last met in the Premier League, in October.
EPL Team News
Given the chaos at Stamford Bridge it is hard to know which team will take the field here, although the Blues’ injury problems continue to ease. Mason Mount recovered from an abdominal problem to travel to Madrid in midweek and played 15 minutes at the end of the game, so could be in line to start here, along with the influential Cesar Azpilicueta.
The quartet of Noni Madueke, David Datro Fofana, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Benoit Badiashile were left out of the Champions League squad but are presumably fit.
The team news for Brighton is less encouraging. De Zerbi must do without Adam Lallana and Jeremy Sarmiento, along with Enock Mwepu and Tariq Lamptey, with the latter two having no return date confirmed. Jakub Moder may yet be fit to play after recovering from a knee injury.
EPL Match Betting Pick
The idea that Chelsea would not be a favorite on its own patch against Brighton would have seemed crazy to any football fan just a few months ago, yet that’s where we are.
On form, you could argue that the bookies have got it right, but the fact remains that this expensive Chelsea squad is full of world-class players and given Brighton’s unpredictability and injury problems, as well as the emotional impact of the return of the ever popular Lampard to Stamford Bridge, the value surely lies with the home team in the match betting market.