Chelsea's Cahill, Fabregas ruled out of Brighton trip

'(But) Pedro we must be honest, we have to accept he is diving.

After narrowly beating Norwich (5-3) in a penalty shootout on Wednesday night, an away win against Brighton would certainly help reassure fans and help Conte's mission for a top four Premier League finish.

SHEARER: "You're seeing why I was very doubtful about it and now it's a shambles".

Chris Hughton's men have been guilty of failing to convert too many draws into wins at home and another slip could further undermine the progress they made in establishing themselves close to mid-table earlier in the season.

Ross Barkley could make his Chelsea debut this weekend at Brighton.

However, since the start of the 2016-17 season, Courtois has been back at his imperious best. Trophies have arrived with regularity despite turnover in the dugout.

Chelsea now sit fourth in the table after 23 games, 3 points ahead of Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham side.

At his pre-match press conference, the 48-year-old said: "I think Ross is in a good physical condition".

I will never lose respect for Wenger - his legacy in English football is preserved and he will always be considered one of the all-time greats - but I said a year ago his time was coming to an end and nothing has changed. If the referee doesn't want to give the penalty, in this situation it's still not right to book him.

The Brighton game was awkward before Cesc Fabregas and Gary Cahill were injured and before Alvaro Morata and Pedro were suspended. It will be a big fight, a big war, with five teams (after Manchester City) for only four places.

Antonio Conte has insisted that Alvaro Morata will overcome his disciplinary issues and has blamed his sending-off against Norwich City on the pressure of being Chelsea's first-choice striker.

Progress in Europe - or the lack of it - will likely determine Conte's fate and the Champions League round-of-16 tie against Barcelona in February and March will be critical. Since then though, things have spiralled out of control for Antonio Conte & co.

"I can imagine no more suitable replacement for Arsene Wenger than Conte".

  • Julie Sanders