The 15 March 1989 was when Brighton & Hove Albion last faced Chelsea in any competition.

On Boxing Day, the two sides face each other in the top flight for the first time ever.

The Blues have only faced The Seagulls eight times throughout their history, with the South West Londoners coming out on top in six of them; all of their victories have come in their last six meetings against Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls’ sole victory over Chelsea was in the FA Cup in 1933, when they won 2-1.

They have only faced each other at SW6 three times; Chelsea have won all three of those and Brighton & Hove Albion have never scored at Stamford Bridge.

Albion are currently making their maiden appearance in the English Premier League and are 12th at the halfway stage of the league season. On Saturday, they defeated an in-form Watford side 1-0 at the AMEX Stadium.

Chelsea missed the chance to close the gap on second placed side Manchester United after they were held to a 0-0 stalemate away at Goodison Park against Everton. The Blues really struggled to break down a dogged, defensive Toffees side on Saturday and Alvaro Morata, who was absent due to suspension, was sorely missed.

With Morata eligible against The Seagulls, Conte could to return to the 3-5-2 system, which has toppled the likes of Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur this season.

Conte has proved that he is always after a reaction from his side and whilst they should comfortably beat Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday, Chris Hughton’s side may well record their first ever goal at the home of the defending champions.

Score Prediction: Chelsea 3-1 Brighton & Hove Albion

By Jonty Colman