Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Chelsea Preview & Pick: Home Underdog Has Value
Justin Setterfield/Getty. Pictured: Roberto De Zerbi.
- Will the Seagulls secure a result at home against Chelsea?
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the fixture and offers his prediction.
- Read on for his best bet and analysis.
Brighton vs. Chelsea Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+106 / -128)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Chelsea are in the middle of quite the fixture pileup as the Blues visit the English South Coast on Saturday to battle Brighton & Hove Albion. There’s some extra juice in this fixture after Chelsea hired Graham Potter from Brighton in September.
It’s the ninth match for Chelsea in all competitions in the month of October, with six league games and three Champions League fixtures.
The Seagulls and Blues played to two highly competitive draws in their two fixtures against one another last year. Even though Brighton was +0.5 and +1 in those two matches, it’s a sign of respect in the market for the Seagulls progression as a club that they’re now a pick’em at home on Saturday.
Despite the increased market respect for Brighton, it hasn’t quite gone far enough. The Seagulls have performed well against top sides of late and Chelsea’s form suggests that Brighton should really be a small favorite here.
Brighton Thriving Under New Manager
Brighton hired Roberto De Zerbi and haven’t seen a drop-off in their performances at all. The Seagulls haven’t won yet under their new manager, but they’ve played considerably better than the results indicated.
An away draw at Liverpool, a 50% field tilt against Manchester City and an evenly played game with Spurs and at Brentford suggest that the Seagulls are more than capable of beating Chelsea on Saturday.
The Seagulls have been better than their underlying numbers indicate and have actually run a bit cold with their finishing. Despite a +4 xG difference, the Seagulls have outscored their opponents by just one goal this season. They’ve produced 4.5 xG in the last four league matches and yet have only scored one goal in that period.
Brighton have been better than Chelsea at both preventing and creating big scoring chances this season. Brighton have the third best defense in the league by big chances allowed and their attack has improved to sixth in creating said chances.
Field tilt and ball progression numbers also love the Seagulls — they rank fifth and sixth in both metrics. They haven’t skipped a beat under De Zerbi and won’t be phased by Chelsea’s attempts to press them and disrupt their passing patterns.
Chelsea In Tough Position
This is a brutal spot for Chelsea. Saturday is the Blues’ fifth away match in 18 days and they haven’t played particularly well in any of their recent matches.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last four matches in all competitions, but they conceded more than 1.3 xG to Aston Villa, Brentford and RB Salzburg. Chelsea also struggled to create much of anything in attack at home against Manchester United until a late penalty to Jorginho.
Potter has tried a bunch of different formations and player roles to varying degrees of success. When he doesn’t have elite wide player Reece James at his disposal and the midfield and defense deals with injury issues, the Blues are quite limited in reaching their ceiling.
They’re unbeaten under Potter but the underlying numbers are mixed. He’s managed five Premier League matches and they’ve been exactly even in non-penalty xG difference across those matches.
Chelsea’s defense under Tuchel prioritized limiting big scoring chances by strangling possession and suffocating opponents. But this season the Blues are 11th in big scoring chances allowed and are massively underperforming the names on the team sheet going forward. Chelsea is 12th in shots, NPxG per match and big scoring chances created.
The field tilt and expected threat suggest that the offense will figure it out eventually but it may take some time before that becomes a reality with the constant interchanging parts and roles in attack.
Betting Analysis & Pick
My projections make Brighton a home favorite. They’ve had the better underlying numbers all season and the talent gap on paper isn’t enough to make Chelsea a favorite on the road.
You can expect Potter to establish his press and possess system here — Chelsea have actually forced the lowest opponent passing success rate in the league — but Brighton are one of the few no- big six sides that are well equipped to handle that. A large part of that is because of Potter’s excellent recruitment and managerial job.
Brighton will be well equipped to do to Potter what Potter did to other big six sides in his time there. The Seagulls should be favorites at home because of that.
The Pick: Brighton PK (+100 or better)