“It’s nice to see Lampard mixing four academy graduates with the new toys,” says Roberto Álvarez. Unfortunately, where Caballero or Mendy should be, there is a kind of friendly looking Spaniard warming up. Seems like a good guy. Don’t know if he can parry a ball though.”
“Kindly explain,” says Kalema Leon, “the meaning of ‘mouthwatometer’.”
Well, it’s an ometer that tells you how much your mouth is watering. I broke mine the first time I smelt the bone marrow gravy at the Hawksmoor.
“Ok,” says Rob Coughlin, “I thought Pulisic was fit again? Wa’happened?”
I haven’t a clue. You’re welcome! (I thought he’d be on the bench as well.)
Timo Werner and Kai Havertz start for Chelsea, as does Adam Lallana for Brighton. The rest of the Chelsea’s summer signings are either injured or not match-fit. Their next signing, Edouard Mendy, will have his gloves kept warm by Kepa.
Brighton (3-4-1-2) Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Bissouma, Alzate, March; Lallana; Maupay, Trossard.
Substitutes: Steele, Burn, Veltman, Stephens, Gross, Jahanbakhsh, Connolly.
Chelsea (4-3-3) Kepa; James, Christensen, Zouma, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Havertz, Werner, Mount.
Substitutes: Caballero, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Barkley, Abraham, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi.
Referee Craig Pawson
Hello. At the start of a new season, there’s always a unique buzz around the team that has spent the most money. This year it’s Chelsea, who have divested themselves of around £200m to sign some serious talent. The most eye-catching signings are Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, the two best young players in Germany, but Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech also register pretty highly on the mouthwatometer.
It’s arguably Chelsea’s most exciting spree since 2003, when a newly rich club bought 42 per cent of the registered professional footballers on the planet. The new team gelled pretty quickly: that season Chelsea finished second and reached the Champions League semi-final, and their manager Claudio Ranieri was sacked.
Lampard should get more time but there’s no doubt, as Jonathan Wilson wrote yesterday, that expectations have increased enormously. Lampard would prefer that to the less ambitious alternative of trying to finish fourth and one win of the domestic cups. If expectations have increased, then so have the opportunities.
Brighton’s expectations are inevitably more modest but they should improve on a promising first season under Graham Potter. Adam Lallana is an intriguing addition to a squad that is already full of creativity and positive intent. One thing’s for sure: this will be a very watchable match.
Kick off 8.15pm.