Brighton 1–1 Chelsea: An FPL-focused match review
- Goals: Werner, Groß
- Assists: Hudson-Odoi, Connolly
- Yellow Cards: Chelsea (1) — Kovacic; Brighton (0)
- Bonus Points (I may have made these up): Caballero (3), Alzate (2), Bissouma & Kante (1)
So good to be back in a stadium. Football, I’ve missed you.
A quick summary of the game, and then we’ll get into what this means for our FPL squads. Brighton began the game in a flexible 3–5–2, with Chelsea operating in a more familiar 4–2–3–1. The Blues went ahead just four minutes in, a smart lofted pass from Ziyech (£8.0) finding Hudson-Odoi (£6.0), who shaped to direct the ball towards goal…and got his header completely wrong. His blushes spared, however, by the lurking Timo Werner (£9.5), who directed the ball past Maty Ryan (£4.5) from close range to give the away side the lead.
Some promising exchanges from the home side, and an intriguing midfield battle as young duo Yves Bissouma and Steven Alzate (both £4.5) went toe-to-toe with Kante (£5.0) & Kovačić (£5.5). Ryan tipped over a fierce drive from Hudson-Odoi, and that was about it for the first half.
Chelsea were feeling charitable it seems, and made two fatal changes at centre half, bringing on Rudiger (£5.0) and Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.0). First Rudiger wrestled Albion captain Lewis Dunk (£5.0) to the floor, gifting the seagulls a chance to equalise from the spot. Maupay (£6.5) saw his penalty saved — two in a row now missed, and so likely to be off penalty duty for good now. Not good news for a £6.5 million forward.
Brighton continued to probe, and substitute Alexis MacAllister (£5.5, Argentinian number ten = FLAIR) impressed with his set-piece delivery. His delicate cross was headed towards goal by Webster (£4.5), but his effort glanced off the upright and away to safety. Pascal Groß (£6.0) appeared to be on direct free-kick duty as he sent a decent effort fizzing past the post, but as more and more substitutions were made (24 in all), it looked as though Brighton would not be rewarded for all their endeavor.
That is, until Aaron Connolly (£5.5) wriggled free in the box. The young Irishman shimmied, and before he could get a shot off, Ethan Amapadu (N/A) clipped the striker and sent him tumbling to the floor. Some exceptional theatrics from the referee followed; dramatically waving away Albion protests…and then bizarrely, as if possessed by the spirit of greatest showman Mike Dean, pointed to the spot. Azpilicueta incensed, continuing as he had the entire half to berate the referee.
Having failed previously from 12 yards, the Albion resorted to a German penalty taker in Pascal Groß. No mistake from the midfielder, bottom corner to draw the game level in injury time. Lovely return to football that.
Timo Werner will be very popular as an early season pick — his ownership currently sits around 40.5%. He has a great goal record, scoring 28 from an xG of 20.71 in last season’s Bundesliga (Infogol), averaging 3.6 shots per game and 100 minutes per goal (Whoscored). Based on the eye-test, he likes to move, he’s a very lively striker and it’s encouraging to see him mopping up simple chances already. However, whilst it was only a pre-season fixture and Brighton had a lot to say in the game, Werner was relatively anonymous after netting early on. Ziyech found him with a set-piece mid-way through the 1st half, but he couldn’t keep his header down. Ben White (£4.5) stopped him in his tracks as he tried to take on the young centre half one-on-one.
I’ve seen a lot of hype, lots saying he’s absolutely nailed…he’ll almost certainly start opening day yes, but if Chelsea can’t provide the bullets for him, there may be better options out there in Vardy, Kane and Ings. In my view, a lot will depend on the severity of Ziyech’s injury.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James were the only others I would pick out from Chelsea. James was eager to venture forward, and drilled a shot wide in the opening exchanges — he could well be good for assists and he’s competitively priced at £5.0 million. Likely prone to a yellow card though, combative, and maybe a bit overly aggressive. It’s hard to say without seeing Chelsea with Silva and Chilwell, but the defence is currently shaky at best. Chelsea conceded 2 penalties in this game, and it could well have been 4 — Christensen (£5.0) pulling down Maupay in the first half and Rudiger (£5.0) blocking Tariq Lamptey during the second period. If Kepa starts the season in goal there are definite question marks as to whether Lampard truly trusts him…all in all, I certainly wouldn’t count on the Blues to consistently bank you clean sheets.
As for the Seagulls, there’s definitely some very nicely priced options available. As with last season however, rotation may be a thorn in the side of FPL managers. Brighton lined up in a 3–5–2 for most of the game, which means PLAYER PLAYING OUT OF POSITION ALERT. Leandro Trossard (£6.0) impressed many last season, and the enigmatic winger pushed right up alongside Neal Maupay when Brighton went on the attack. He’ll occasionally take set-pieces, and is a bit of a favourite of Graham Potter’s, so I think he could be a very workable option. Managers are desperate for value in that £5.5–6.0 bracket, and whilst Saint-Maximin, Armstrong and Saka have been talked up as the standout picks, Trossard could be a strong early season differential.
Now let’s go dirt cheap. Adam Webster (£4.5) is improving every game at Brighton, and notched an impressive three goals and one assist from centre back last season. He went close again in yesterday’s game, and I expect him to continue to threaten from set-pieces. Ex-Chelsea starlet Tariq Lamptey (£4.5) made a real impact in the second half, and should have won a penalty when Rudiger stepped across him in the box. The kid is rapid, absolutely loves to get forward, and put up insane numbers in the final 9 games of the PL 19/20 season:
Not cheap enough for you? Beyond FPL legend David Button (£4.0), there may be one or two more attractively priced Brighton stars to throw into your squad. The Albion have a relatively tough start, so these picks are probably ideal — low risk, bench fodder most weeks, good for some points off the bench and if they do catch fire, you’re ahead of the pack. Introducing two £4.5 million midfielders, who are very well placed to start. Steven Alzate and Yves Bissouma, as I alluded to earlier, look to be a dynamite pairing in the centre of the park. Bissouma’s ball-winning ability has improved massively, now he’s able to cover so much ground as well as dance past opponents with ease. He loves a shot from distance too — see his cracker against Burnley on the final day.
Alzate is extremely versatile, and can play anywhere from attacking midfield to full-back. He’s probably likely to get given a chance to establish himself this season, and if he can get an extended run in the team he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. If he ends up playing higher up the pitch at certain points, he could be an absolute steal…although Brighton are well stocked with Lallana (£6.5), MacAllister (£5.5) and Groß (£6.0).
There’ll be more FPL content and discussions on Albion Analytics as the season goes on — and particularly if you want insight into Brighton’s FPL potential, we are always happy to answer your questions and discuss Fantasy options. In the meantime, we’ve got four prizes up for grabs in our FREE minileague. Get involved!
- Written by Charlie Benny
Twitter: @AlbionAnalytics @CharlieBenny25