Three of our other new signings, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva, are not available for this game and Mateo Kovacic is suspended.
Cesar Azpilicueta does not start so Jorginho takes the captain’s armband. He is joined in midfield by N’Golo Kante and there are also places for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount. Christian Pulisic, recently back in training after his hamsting injury, is also not involved today. Frank Lampard reported the American has an injury.
Brighton include new signing Adam Lallana and Chelsea youth product Tariq Lamptey, who joined them in January, is in their defence.
Chelsea: Kepa; James, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho (c); Havertz, Loftus-Cheek, Mount; Werner. Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Barkley, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Abraham.Brighton: Ryan; White, Dunk (c), Webster; Lamptey, Lallana, Bissouma, Alzate, March; Maupay, Trossard.
This game takes place 36 days after our last competitive action, at Bayern Munich on 8 August.
A win for Chelsea will mean the club reaches 2,000 Premier League points and becomes only the third to reach that milestone after Manchester United (2,234) and Arsenal (2,011).
It would also be our 600th since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. Coincidentally it could also be our 400th victory in the Premier League in the same period.
Chelsea and Brighton meet for only for the 11th occasion in the league (seventh in the top-flight) and 14th overall.
Last season’s corresponding fixture was the first time we had dropped points against the Seagulls. Overall we have won 11 of the 14 encounters in all competitions.
Among sides they have faced in English league football, Chelsea are the only team Brighton have failed to beat.
Our development squad brought Premier League 2 action to Kingsmeadow for the first time this afternoon and christened their return with a win over West Ham.
Toni Rudiger sees the fresh start at the beginning of the new season as a great opportunity for Chelsea to take another step forward, starting in our opening game against Brighton.
Manager Emma Hayes praised Chelsea FC Women’s ruthless team performance, as the Blues thumped Bristol City 9-0 at Kingsmeadow on Sunday afternoon.
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