Match Preview – Chelsea v Brighton

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Chelsea – the club
Chelsea were a small English football team with several thousand fans who played at a greyhound track until 2003, when the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich decided he needed a new toy to spend his vast fortune on. They say money can’t buy you happiness, but it can certainly buy you trophies as Chelsea have wracked up five league titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, two Community Shields, one Champions League and one Europa League in the 14 years of Abramovich’s ownership. The likable Italian Antonio Conte won the championship last season in his first year in charge and the Blues remain in four competitions at Christmas this year although anyone who thinks the title isn’t heading to Manchester City should seek psychiatric help.

Chelsea – the place
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea contains many of the most expensive residential properties in the world. It is also home to the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Harrods and the Royal Albert Hall. Seems a world away from Blackburn away in 2015 when we went to a pub that was selling Magners for £2.50 and showing Jeremy Kyle on the big screen to drinkers in their dressing gowns.

Chelsea – the people
As you might expect given the fact the club is based in an affluent and celebrity rich area, Chelsea attracts a fair share of celebrity fans. Nigella Lawson is a supporter when she isn’t busy sugaring her cakes (and her nose) as is Bill Clinton who apparently used to stand on The Shed during his time at Oxford University, probably getting random women to suck him off before denying all knowledge of it. Speaking of politicians who liked a bit of spice in their lives, the MP David Mellor was reported to have had an affair with an actress in which he made love to her four times, all the while wearing a full Chelsea strip. Unfortunately, the Chelsea kit bit turned out to be bollocks.

A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of Chelsea away
Given that the Albion have spent most of our history being rubbish and Chelsea are actually quite good, past meetings are few and far between. In fact, we’ve only clashed eight times previously with no Albion wins and our last meeting at Stamford Bridge came in 1988, a 2-0 defeat we are too young to remember.

A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of Chelsea away
Chelsea and the neighbouring Earls Court area have some good pubs around them and it became a particular favourite stop off on the way back from Watford at the turn of the decade. One such visit was after our 1-0 FA Cup Fourth Round win at Vicarage Road in 2011, when we skipped dinner in favour of eating a packet of raw hotdog sausages. The perhaps unsurprising result was a plethora of sick all over the track at West Brompton Station shortly before the train home.

Played for both
Chelsea currently have 1,346 players out on loan as they tend to do every season, given that they stockpile the best talent in Europe and then either leave them to rot or loan them out with many never playing a game for the Blues. We’ve currently got Izzy Brown on loan and last season, Fikayo Tomori made a good impression in the second half of the season. Gus Poyet seemed to particularly love signing a young player from his former club with Liam Bridcutt, Rohan Ince, Anton Rodgers and Ben Sampayo all coming from the Blues youth system. The first two were relative successes, the second two the jury was very much out on – or should that be Jurys Inn?

Dangermen
Playing the reigning champions, where do you start with that one? Eden Hazard is one of the best players in the world and the Albion will have their work cut out dealing with him, let alone Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro or any of their other ridiculously talented squad.

Betting
The Albion’s record against the top six so far this season reads played five, lost five, scored one. And that one was a very weak penalty against a Liverpool side who are the weakest defensively of that bunch. Chelsea to win to nil is a no brainer and if you want to be bold and predict a correct score, three of those five have finished 0-2.

Prediction
As above. Another Manchester City/Arsenal/Tottenham game, with the Albion going down 2-0.

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