Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea preview: Hughton's men will be hard pushed to bounce back after Burnley defeat

Chelsea' talisman Eden Hazard
Chelsea' talisman Eden Hazard

After defeat on the road in the Premier League last weekend, Brighton will be hard pushed to bounce back when they play host to Chelsea on Sunday, writes Bradley Stratton.

James Tarkowski’s first half goal was enough to secure Burnley a 1-0 win against the Seagulls last weekend, with the visitors offering very little in response

Given the results that preceded the game at Turf Moor, it was a disappointing result for Albion. Despite this, they still find themselves in a strong position sat 13th in the table on 21 points heading into a tough Christmas schedule heading into 2019.

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Having lost all of their games against the top four this season, Chris Hughton’s side know they will have a tough task ahead of them against a Blues outfit who have a had a mixed bag of results in the past few months.

After a near flawless first four months of the season, Chelsea have only won two of their last five top flight games, however they go into Sunday’s match at the Amex on the back of handing reigning champions Manchester City their first league defeat of the 2018/19 campaign.

Whilst there is an eight-point gap between them and leaders Liverpool, Maurizio Sarri and his side’s supporters will still have belief that they can contend for a sixth Premier League title in his first year in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Their chances of competing for top spot will boil down to the form of the talismanic Eden Hazard. The Belgian leads the way for them on both the goal scored and assists front, having notched eight of each so far this season.

The 27-year-old was the catalyst for their performance in their last visit to the Amex, with Albion no doubt hoping to avoid a repeat of that performance. The visitors thumped Brighton 4-0 back in January, with Hazard on the scoresheet twice.