Predicted XI: Two key Spaniards return to Chelsea line-up against Brighton

Chelsea are again hoping to get back to winning ways after a frustrating 0-0 draw away at Everton last Saturday.

The Blues are expected to make a few crucial changes to the starting line-up ahead of Tuesday’s Boxing Day clash against Premier League newboys Brighton and Hove Albion.

The West London club’s top goal-scorer Alvaro Morata returns from his one-match suspension, with Cesc Fabregas also expected to start after spending the majority of the last few games on the bench.

Antonio Conte could be tempted to return to the 3-5-2 formation with Eden Hazard upfront with Morata, as Willian and Pedro seem likely to get benched.

Here’s how we believe Chelsea will form up against Brighton:


Thibaut Courtois: Didn’t have a single save to do at Everton so he should be fit to keep starting.


Cezar Azpilicueta: With three games to be played inside just one week, Azpilicueta will also have to be rested at some point. However, he should be fit enough to remain in the starting line-up here.

Andreas Christensen: With David Luiz still out with a knee injury, Christensen will most likely remain in the starting line-up.

Gary Cahill: Antonio Rudiger played a good game away at Everton on Saturday, so we should be expecting to see captain Cahill in the starting line-up against Brighton.


Marcos Alonso: The Spaniard will keep on going on the left.

Victor Moses: The Nigerian was subbed off late in the game against Everton for Davide Zappacosta, which could indicate that Conte wants the former Wigan forward to be fit to start against Brighton.


N’Golo Kante: Despite another long run of games behind him, the former Leicester man should remain in the line-up.

Danny Drinkwater: Summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko has made a great job recently in the two-man pivot alongside Kante, but could be rested as Drinkwater has also looked more comfortable playing in the 3-5-2 system compared to Baka.

Cesc Fabregas: The former Barcelona star will return to start in an advanced role in the Blues’ three-man midfield.


Eden Hazard: The Belgian forward hasn’t scored in a while despite yet another great display against Everton. Perhaps the return of Morata will hand him a big favour? Very good to see this combo playing together again! Hazard should remain in the Blues line-up, but might not play the full game considering his knock against the Toffees.

Alvaro Morata: His suspension is over and he’s ready to roll! A late winner in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals should get the Blues fans quite excited ahead of Tuesday’s game.

How would you line up your Chelsea side against Brighton on Boxing Day?