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Barkley in Chelsea squad to face Brighton

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte: 'Ross Barkley on bench for Brighton game'

For the Blues, this early kick-off on Saturday comes on the back of five straight draws, the last of which, just two days ago, then added another 30 minutes plus a penalty kick shootout onto the schedule.

The Blues will have to make do without attacking duo Pedro and Alvaro Morata, as the Spaniards were both sent off in the FA Cup thriller during the week.

"For sure we have to face many problems, and also because Pedro and Morata are not able to play, but we want to try to get three points".

They could also remain winless in their opening three Premier League matches of a calendar year for the first time in 23 years.

The Potters have lost their last three league fixtures by an aggregate score of nine-nil and they can now be backed at a price of 13/8 to be relegated. The England midfielder played 70 minutes in a friendly on Thursday and is in the squad for Saturday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

There are some complaints about the performances of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Morata but there were few positives in last week's Premier League game.

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Cahill is likely to be out so Antonio Rudiger will likely slot into left centre-back, playing alongside Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea need to rediscover their scoring touch, and will need to perform well to break down a very well organised and well-disciplined Brighton team. He has returned to Stamford Bridge for his recovery.

Their only away victory in six league and cup matches was 3-1 at Huddersfield Town on 12 December (W1, D4, L1).

This is only the 10th ever meeting between Brighton and Chelsea - the Blues have won each of the last seven contests in all competitions.

Brighton find themselves staring at the drop zone, but they couldn't have hoped for a better time to play current champions Chelsea.

One of the sides below the dotted line is Stoke City, and they begin life under Paul Lambert with a home game against a Huddersfield Town side who side just four points above them. His last game against Leicester was his only Premier League game this season where he didn't have a single shot.

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