Football expert Ryan Elliott casts his eye over Monday's intriguing clash between Brighton and big-spending Chelsea.
Chelsea & BTTS
It’s going to fascinating watching Chelsea this season. While their frankly bonkers transfer window has given their squad a pretty terrifying look, Frank Lampard will know the pressure is really on him this season, and slow start, with the squad at his disposal, will see the heat just crank up on him a little.
An opening game against Brighton at The Amex is also a tricky one. The two sides drew 1-1 in this fixture last season, and Graham Potter has a group of players at his disposal who really buy into his philosophy, and I expect them to be stronger this season than last.
I’m generally going to be a little more conservative with the tips to start the season. Prices are always a tad on the generous side, but with so many unknown variables (Chelsea’s new-look side a prime example), I’m only going to tip up what I really think represents value.
At 12/5, I do like the look of Chelsea winning and both teams scoring.
Hakim Ziyech is injured, but you can expect to see Timo Werner and Kai Havertz lining-up for Frank Lampard’s men on Monday. Werner scored 28 league goals last season in the Bundeslia, and the only reason why this wasn’t talked about more is because of Robert Lewandowski’s superior goal record.
Only Liverpool and Man City scored more than Chelsea last season, and with so many quality additions to the squad, you can expect them to better last season’s tally of 69.
As for Brighton, they were much better against the ‘big six’ under Graham Potter than under Chris Hughton. Two wins against Arsenal, a hammering of Spurs at home, drawing with Chelsea and two agonising narrow defeats against champions Liverpool shows how much belief this side have now against the country’s elite, and I fancy them to cause problems.
Neal Maupay will no doubt improve on his impressive debut season in the Premier League, while Adam Lallana will provide plenty more creativity in the middle of the park.
The one potential issue with Chelsea’s overhaul is that they might take a little time to gel, and for this reason, I like adding BTTS onto a Chelsea win – turning the tip from a 4/6 shot to a 12/5 shot.