Paul Merson states his prediction for Chelsea v Bournemouth
The Arsenal legend is backing defending Premier League champions Chelsea to secure a 3-0 win over a weakened Brighton side on Boxing Day
Paul Merson is confident Chelsea will make light work of a weakened Brighton and Hove Albion side at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
The defending Premier League champions will be looking to make a swift return to winning ways following the disappointment of a 0-0 draw with Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea were unable to find a way past Sam Allardyce’s stubborn Toffees defence as Antonio Conte made the decision to leave Michy Batshuayi on the bench despite Alvaro Morata’s suspension.
The west London side were fortunate that their top-four rivals Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all drew in the most recent batch of Premier League fixtures.
The Blues are sitting in third place in the Premier League table and three points ahead of their closest rivals Liverpool.
Brighton have acquitted themselves well in the English top flight this season and the Seagulls are in 12th place and eight points clear of the relegation zone.
The promoted side will make the trip to fellow relegation candidates Newcastle in their next Premier League game after their Boxing Day trip to Chelsea.
Merson believes Chelsea will beat a weakened Brighton team at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
“Brighton did well on Saturday (in beating Watford 1-0), they just do not put their chances away,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“Chris Hughton must sit there on tenterhooks – he needs to watch a game where he can relax for once! I watched them against Burnley when they should have been two or three up, but missed a penalty, drew 0-0 and were hanging on at the end.
“On Saturday they had chance after chance to kill the game, while Chelsea were unlucky against Everton, let’s be honest, they should have won. Brighton have got bigger games over Christmas than this and you will find some teams will rest players for bigger games.
“With three games coming up really quickly, you are not going to put all your first-team players out in this game, get beat 3-0 and then they are all tired for the big games coming up.”
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