Chelsea hope to build on their determined victory over Cardiff City, as Maurizio Sarri’s side welcome Brighton & Hove Albion in Wednesday’s English Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues’ last fortunate, but vital league victory, proved to be important as they still remain in the mix for a place in the top four.
Sarri’s men have statistics on their side. On the three occasions which the two sides have met in the English Premier League since the start of the 2017/2018 season, Chelsea have come out on top in all of them, scoring eight goals in the process.
Ahead of the game, we look at player ratings from both sides provided by WhoScored.com and have assembled our very own combined team.
Goalkeeper: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea) 6.59
Despite the controversial moment in the Carabao Cup final, Kepa Arrizabalaga has managed to help the supporters and himself forget that day with performances that have warranted him his enormous price tag.
Arrizabalaga has 11 clean sheets this season, only Manchester City’s Ederson (15) and Liverpool’s Alisson (17) have more in the league.
Right-back: Bernardo (Brighton & Hove Albion) 7.11
Amidst the threat of relegation this season there have been some good points, one of them is Bernardo, who signed from German side RB Leipzig in the summer.
Bernardo has more interceptions (27) in total than Watford’s Jose Holebas (18), despite playing less games.
Centre-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea) 6.97
There is nothing like a mainstay and there is no doubt Cesar Azpilicueta is one of them. He has played 2,790 league minutes this season. The only outfielders to have more to their name are Nathan Ake, Wilfred Ndidi and Virgil Van Dijk.
The Spaniard has way more tackles won (83) in the league, than Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (49).
Centre-back: Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion) 7.18
Despite Brighton & Hove Albion’s struggles at the bottom half of the table, it would be unimaginable to think what it would have been like without Shane Duffy this season, who has been pivotal.
Duffy has the third highest rating for a centre-back in the league (7.18). Only Newcastle United’s Fabian Schar (7.31) and Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk (7.42) have more.
Left-back: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) 7.13
Questions have been raised for some time regarding Marcos Alonso’s position in the team following the emergence of Emerson, but the Spaniard has been selected as of late.
Despite having a higher overall rating than Alonso, Everton’s Lucas Digne has only managed the same number of clearances per game (2.6) as the Spaniard.
Central midfielder: David Luiz (Chelsea) 7.08
This is far from his role this season, but not out of the ordinary for David Luiz, who suits either position.
The versatile Brazilian has attempted more passes per game (77.6) than Manchester City’s Fernandinho (73).
Central midfielder: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) 6.94
N’Golo Kante still remains in the advanced midfield role in Sarri’s plans, rather than the more defensive minded one we all know. This is testament to the Frenchman’s talents.
Kante has the same number of attempted dribbles per game (1.7) as Everton’s playmaking veteran Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Central midfielder: Jorginho (Chelsea) 6.87
Jorginho must be counting down the games until the end of the season as he has found it difficult to replicate his form from earlier on in the season.
Despite making the highest number of passes (2591) for the club, he has still to provide an assist in an astonishing 30 league appearances.
Right-winger: Pedro (Chelsea) 6.99
At the age of 31, Pedro’s experience should only prove to be vital for the remainder of the season and for the foreseeable future due to the club’s situation.
The older the better, as is the case for his number of successful dribbles (41), which is surprisingly more than Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva (35).
Striker: Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 7.67
With a two-window ban on the horizon, there are many key players in Chelsea’s hands that will be of importance to try and keep. None more so than Eden Hazard, who is not only regarded as one of the best players in the league, but on the planet.
With 13 league goals so far this campaign, he has found the back of the net more times than Olivier Giroud (1), Gonzalo Higuain (3) and former striker Alvaro Morata (5) combined.
Left-winger: Willian (Chelsea) 7.15
In the face of disappointment, Willian always manages to shine from the majority, and the same could be said this season as his performances have warranted that statement.
Even though Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has a higher rating, he has not completed anywhere near as many key passes (41) than Willian (72).
By Darion Westwood