Paul Merson explains his Brighton v Chelsea FC prediction
Paul Merson is tipping Chelsea FC to beat Brighton on Saturday, but Chris Sutton expects the game to end all square
Paul Merson is tipping Chelsea FC to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League with a 2-1 win away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues have drawn their last two games in the Premier League under Graham Potter after their goalless draw at Brentford was followed by a 1-1 stalemate against Manchester United last time out.
Potter’s side secured their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League in midweek thanks to a 2-1 win away to RB Salzburg – and the south west London side are now unbeaten in nine games under their new manager.
Chelsea FC are now preparing to return to Potter’s former club Brighton on Saturday as the Blues aim to return to winning ways in the top flight and start climbing the table again.
The Blues started the weekend in fifth place in the top flight table and level on points with fourth-placed Newcastle United – who have played one game more than the Londoners.
Former Arsenal midfielder Merson feels that Chelsea FC have been looking “solid” in recent weeks under Potter, and he is backing them to claim the three points with a 2-1 win on Saturday at The Amex.
Writing in his column for Sportskeeda, Merson said: “Chelsea got a good result in the Champions League, and they played some good football as well. There was one move in that match where they moved from one end of the pitch to the other – wow! Had they scored, it would’ve been their best goal in a long time.
“Brighton played well against Manchester City last week, and I thought they would score their second goal at one point. They played out a 0-0 draw against Nottingham Forest before that, and they’re very unreliable at the moment.
“I’m not sure how many changes Graham Potter will make this week, and the outcome will depend on whether his team can gel together. Chelsea are more solid at the moment and should be able to win this game.”
Former Chelsea FC star Chris Sutton, however, disagrees with Merson about the result, and is expecting to see the Blues draw their third straight game in the Premier League.
According to Sutton, Saturday’s game is poised to be a tricky encounter for the south west Londoners, and he is backing Brighton to earn a point in a 1-1 draw.
“After five games in charge, Roberto de Zerbi is still waiting for his first win as Brighton boss,” Sutton wrote in his own column for BBC Sport.
“That means he already had his predecessor, Graham Potter, looming over him – now he goes directly up against him on Potter’s first return to the club where he did such a good job.
“In contrast, Potter is unbeaten after nine games with Chelsea, but I don’t think this will be straightforward for them at all.
“Brighton were actually decent in defeat against Manchester City last weekend. A lot of teams get rolled over by City, but the Seagulls took the game to them at times and they will do the same here.”
Recent history certainly favours Chelsea FC heading into this game, with the Blues having not lost against Brighton in 14 previous league meetings.
After Saturday’s game, Chelsea FC will switch their focus back to the Champions League and their final group game against Dinamo Zagreb at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.