welcome Brighton & Hove Albion to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening knowing that a victory would see them move into the top four in the Premier League table.
The Blues are currently fifth in England’s top flight, a point behind fourth-placed West Ham United, while Brighton occupy 16th position, six points clear of the relegation zone.
Chelsea have played twice since their last Premier League match on April 10, which brought a 4-1 victory over Crystal Palace. The Blues lost 1-0 at home to Porto in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final three days later but managed to advance to the semi-finals courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate success.
Thomas Tuchel’s side then secured their spot in a second successive FA Cup final on Saturday evening courtesy of a 1-0 victory over Manchester City, with Hakim Ziyech scoring the only goal of the contest.
Chelsea will take on Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Champions League, with the first leg due to take place at the end of April, but they cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in the Premier League.
As it stands, the capital outfit are fifth in the table, one point behind fourth-placed West Ham United, who lost 3-2 at Newcastle United on Saturday. The race for the top four is fascinating, with only Manchester City and Manchester United seemingly secure of a spot in the Champions League positions.
Chelsea have only won seven of their 15 home league games this term but have an excellent record against Brighton, winning 12 of their 14 fixtures versus the Seagulls in all competitions.
Brighton, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a goalless draw with Everton on April 12, which moved them onto 33 points from 31 matches.
The Seagulls are currently 16th in the table, six points clear of 18th-placed Fulham, who conceded late to draw 1-1 with Arsenal on Sunday afternoon; Scott Parker’s side have also played two games more than Brighton, who will feel relatively secure despite their spot in the division.
Graham Potter’s side have generally performed better on their travels than at the Amex this season and have also collected more points, picking up 19 of their 33 points on the road.
Brighton will have had an eight-day gap between matches by the time that they take to the field for this fixture, meanwhile, and the fact that Chelsea have had a busy period could boost the visitors.
Good news for Chelsea
Chelsea were missing both Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen against Man City though injury, and it is difficult to imagine either player being ready for Tuesday night’s contest.
Thiago Silva, meanwhile, had to be substituted in Saturday’s FA Cup clash against the Citizens due to a back problem, and the Brazilian is unlikely to feature here, meaning that Kurt Zouma could come into the XI.
Tuchel is expected to make changes from the side that featured against Pep Guardiola’s team, with Edouard Mendy, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz, Marcos Alonso and Callum Hudson-Odoi potentially all coming in.
Brighton stars to miss match
As for Brighton, Tariq Lamptey and Solly March will again be unavailable for selection through injury, while Florin Andone and Percy Tau remain doubts.
Aaron Connolly has been nursing a foot problem but could be available at Stamford Bridge; the 21-year-old is unlikely to start, though, with Potter expected to keep faith with Neal Maupay, Danny Welbeck and Leandro Trossard in the final third of the field.
Dan Burn and Adam Webster are both fit following spells on the sidelines, but it could be the same back three that kept a clean sheet against Everton, while Jakub Moder should retain his spot as the left-sided wing-back.