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Slow news week, isn’t it? But, let’s move onto Chelsea’s now-questionable desire to finish in the top four.
I don’t necessarily believe in professional footballers being demotivated by the ongoings in the footballing world around them. As we’ve seen now, every club and every player are its own individual brand. Admittedly if Mo Salah is Adidas, then Timo Werner is probably repping Diadora, but the point remains.
Tuesday 20:00 – Chelsea v Brighton
Sky Sports Premier League/ Sky Sports Main Event
The news of a new Super League of sorts won’t play into Chelsea’s minds when it comes to finishing in the top four because players like winning games for their ego in the first place. However, the only thing stronger than cockiness is pettiness and let me tell you, if the new annual midweek Banterland Invitational competition doesn’t bother the players involved, it will certainly annoy those who aren’t.
Not because they want to be in it, but because their fellow professionals are almost self-determining that they’re worth more. And Brighton are a side capable of turning it on when required. You might have a fancy new competition, but you’ll never have a pier like theirs! Anyway, here’s a Bet Builder!
They’ve got games in hand – which are seen as free shots in run-ins, especially when you’re already points-in-hand ahead of your relegation rivals.
And I quite like Brighton rocking up here and robbing a result for two key reasons. One has been mentioned – the clear disruption caused by the Super League for both sides’ mindsets – which really puts into question the importance in Chelsea minds and winds Brighton up. There’s a real sense of disgust being issued towards the clubs involved now and any opposition side facing them will feel that.
But, it’s also because Chelsea are coming down from a major scalp over Man City during the week. That leaves its mark, and they’ll ultimately rotate to freshen things up. It gives Brighton an edge that wouldn’t exist otherwise.
The thing that controls how many goals are in a game is tempo. In another week, this game would be tense as both sides could do with the points and it’s mid-week. But, based on recent trends and the fact that Chelsea dominating possession really only changes the way they approach away games, this will be high-octane from start to finish.
It means Chelsea will keep the ball to ensure it’s a slow tempo and they can try to win a game in which energy levels are low, unchallenged. But, The Seagulls won’t be as forgiving and know if they can force this early on, they’ll likely leave with something. Also, Chelsea’s last two league games? 12 goals combined.
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I’d love a situation where I can see Brighton winning 3-0, but ultimately there’s enough firepower in that Chelsea front five to score in any given game. They even breached City when they forced the issue.
If there’s ever to be a glorious example of how lots of money doesn’t always produce the results you want, well – narratives sometimes write themselves – and this one would be gorgeously fitting. But, you can expect this expensively purchased German to be shooting early and often in this one.
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