‘I cannot separate them’: Sky Sports pundit predicts Brighton v Chelsea FC
Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas reckons Chelsea FC will play out a 2-2 draw with Brighton on New Year's Day
Charlie Nicholas is backing Chelsea FC to play out a high-scoring draw with Brighton at the Amex Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Chelsea FC managed to avoid successive Premier League defeats thanks to late heroics at The Emirates in their last top-flight outing.
The Blues looked to be destined to lose to Arsenal on Sunday after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a first-half opener for Mikel Arteta’s side.
However, substitute Jorginho equalised with seven minutes left to play before Tammy Abraham finished a sweeping counter-attack to secure a 2-1 win for the visitors.
Chelsea FC’s away form has been more convincing than their performances at Stamford Bridge this season, with the Blues collecting 21 points on the road and just 14 points in west London.
Frank Lampard’s men have beaten Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in their last two fixtures on the road – only Liverpool FC have a better away record in the English top flight this term.
Former Arsenal midfielder Nicholas believes that Lampard’s side will earn a point at Brighton on New Year’s Day.
“Chelsea still have a decent amount of quality. They walked away from Arsenal chuffed to bits as they never really played well, apart from upping it for the last 20 minutes,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.
“Frank Lampard changed it and they pushed and pushed. They are getting good results – even when they played well at Manchester City and lost, the signs were promising.”
Nicholas added: “The way Brighton are performing at home is impressive. We saw a bit of a slip up against Sheffield United, but they went back to basics against Bournemouth and were worthy winners.
“Brighton will go after it, while Chelsea’s youngsters will be tired – they had to put a massive shift in at Arsenal to get the win. Brighton are very good at home, so I cannot separate them.”
Brighton have a better home record than Chelsea FC in the Premier League this term.
The Seagulls are in 14th place and five points above the relegation zone.
Chelsea FC are in fourth spot in the Premier League table and four points ahead of Manchester United.