Frank Lampard will be looking to claim his first points as Chelsea caretaker boss when his team come up against a strong Brighton side at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Lampard was installed as the interim manager until the end of the season last week following the exit of Graham Potter after a dismal run in the Premier League for the Blues. The West London outfit sit eleventh in the table, with four points to Brentford in ninth. Chelsea’s chances of qualifying for European football via their league position are hanging by a thread, with Champions League qualification looking dead in the water. The Blues are eight points away from the top six, with a massive 17-point gap to the top four.
Chelsea find themselves in a dire run of form, with Lampard not being able to change fortunes in the short period since arriving for his second stint in the hot seat. The Blues have gone five games without a win in all competitions, winning just twice in their last 11 league games. Even more worrying for the London side is that in their last four games in all competitions, Chelsea have failed to score a single goal. Lampard was in charge for only a couple of days before the away trip to Molineux last weekend, where a Matheus Nunes wonder strike in the first half was enough to condemn Chelsea to another defeat.
Lampard’s second game in charge since his return was the monumental task of facing Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday night in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. Goals from Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio secured a 2-0 win for the Spanish side, giving Lampard his second defeat in the space of four days. The Blues will be after a massive win this weekend to give them momentum heading into the home leg against Madrid next Tuesday.
Brighton are one of the teams that are knocking on the door of European football after a hugely impressive season so far. The Seagulls are seventh in the table, with two games in hand over Aston Villa who are one point away in sixth and Tottenham who are seven points away in fifth. They’ve also played a game less than Manchester United and Newcastle who are ten points away in fourth and third places, respectively.
Roberto De Zerbi’s side have been in good form of late, with just one defeat in their last eight games in all competitions. The defeat came last week away to Tottenham, but Brighton fans and many neutrals would agree that the Seagulls were hard done by and deserved to take all three points from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with some dubious refereeing decisions going against the away side.
Heung-Min Son opened the scoring for the hosts, with Lewis Dunk equalising before half-time. De Zerbi’s men then went ahead in the second half before Danny Welbeck’s effort was harshly ruled out for a handball, and also had what looked to be a blatant penalty turned down by the referee. Harry Kane’s 79th-minute strike ensured a 2-1 win for Spurs.
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