Chris Hughton

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PL Sunday Preview: Man City v. Chelsea, Brighton v. Arsenal

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Two Premier League games take place on Sunday, with three of the top six in action and a clash between the reigning champs and the champions elect.

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Below we take a closer look at both games.

Brighton & Hove Albion v. Arsenal – 8:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN and online via

This has an upset written all over it. After Arsenal’s awful week which saw them hammered 3-0 by Man City in both the League Cup final and then four days later in the Premier League at home, Arsene Wenger is under pressure. Again.

Finishing in the top four isn’t a realistic possibility anymore (they are 13 points away from fourth), with the Gunners now surely having to go all-in on winning the UEFA Europa League to get back to the UEFA Champions League next season.

It is time for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to step up. That said, they’re traveling to a Brighton side who are in fine form in recent weeks (four games unbeaten) and are edging closer to securing their Premier League status in their debut campaign in the PL.

Glenn Murray is the man of the moment for the Seagulls with four goals in his last four games, but Chris Hughton‘s side have struggled against the big boys this season with no victories in their seven games against the current top six.

Jack Wilshere is a big doubt for Arsenal and Nacho Monreal and Alexandre Lacazette will both miss the trip to the South Coast, while Brighton have no injury concerns.

Manchester City v. Chelsea – 11 a.m. ET, NBCSN and online via

What a game this promises to be. Man City look like they’re going to beat every team they play by at least three goals right now, with Pep Guardiola‘s men knowing five more wins will secure the Premier League title.

Guardiola’s men are set for a record-breaking season in nearly every metric possible and they want to wrap up the PL title as soon as possible to focus on success in Europe. City lost at home to Chelsea in a fiery encounter last season, but they will dominate possession and can expect Chelsea to try and hit them on the counter with a solid defensive gameplan.

As for the team they’ll be taking the title from, Chelsea have been struggling of late. Antonio Conte has once again questioned the hierarchy and their ambition, with the Italian coach not expected to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond this season.

Finishing in the top four is what it’s all about for the Blues (they’re five points off fourth place heading into this game) but they aren’t in great form with three defeats in their last four PL games.

In team news Chelsea will be without Tiemoue Bakayoko, Ethan Ampadu and David Luiz, while Ross Barkley will be available after missing the defeat at Manchester United last Sunday. Fernandinho (injury) and Fabian Delph (suspension) are definitely out, while Raheem Sterling is a doubt and Kyle Walker could miss out.

Top Premier League storylines — Week 27

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The Premier League’s 20 teams start their final dozen matches on Saturday, and there are plenty of interesting stories amongst the 10 weekend tilts.

[ WATCH: Coutinho’s first Barca goal ]

Can Spurs ruin their rivals’ Aubameyang honeymoon, Top Four hopes?
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal — 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on CNBC

New look Arsenal will hope to channel some of its earlier season success in the North London Derby for a first season sweep of Spurs since 2013-14. Mauricio Pochettino‘s fifth-placed hosts enter the day with a four point advantage on the Gunners, and a loss for Arsenal would leave it a minimum of seven points back of the fourth.

Will Chelsea get form-healthy against basement-dwelling Baggies?
Chelsea vs. West Bromwich Albion — 3 p.m. ET Monday on NBCSN

What’s gone wrong at Stamford Bridge? Is Antonio Conte too intense, or perhaps some of the same players who sold out Jose Mourinho are doing the same to this title-winning boss. Chelsea needs a win to make amends for its 10-man blowout loss at Watford, and desperate West Brom won’t be sleepwalking into London.

Will Pep’s men keep their eyes off Switzerland?
Manchester City vs. Leicester City — 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC

Coming off a disappointing draw at Burnley, Man City will want to put a tricky Leicester team in its rear view mirror quickly. That won’t be easy. Leicester has beaten Man City in the Premier League during each of the previous two seasons, but can see that run end at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday

And what about Klopp’s lineup choice with Porto looming?
Southampton vs. Liverpool — 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN

Stung by last week’s draw with Spurs, Liverpool now has to refocus for a trip to St. Mary’s (the old haunt for so many of those players). Will Jurgen Klopp use Virgil Van Dijk on return, with a UEFA Champions League trip to Portugal next week? Saints, meanwhile, will aim to move further clear of the drop zone. Southampton enters the day two points out of 18th.

And the relegation six-pointer of the weekend is…
Stoke City vs. Brighton and Hove Albion — 10 a.m. ET Saturday on CNBC

Chris Hughton‘s Gulls are three points clear of the 18th place spot occupied by… Stoke City. Few expected the Potters to be flirting with the drop zone this deep into the season, and Paul Lambert will hope to get more than just good bounces from Brighton’s visit.

Hughton feels Chelsea lucky not to give two PKs to Brighton

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Chelsea posted a controlling 4-0 score line in Saturday’s visit to Brighton and Hove Albion, but the host manager feels his side is betrayed by the final score and the referee’s judgment.

[ RECAP: Brighton 0-4 Chelsea ]

Chris Hughton feels the Seagulls should have been awarded a pair of opportunities from the spot during the loss.

The first was Wily Caballero’s takedown of Ezequiel Schelotto, who had an outstanding match in the blowout loss, and the second was a less offensive coming together between Schelotto and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

“For me, we should have had two penalties,” Hughton said. “The first one I thought at the time, the second I wasn’t sure. But when the keeper comes out there is every chance there is going to be a decision to be made, so you have to get yourself into a position to see it. If he says he hasn’t seen it, it’s not one I don’t believe, but there was always going to be a decision to be made.”

Chelsea scored twice in the first 10 minutes, but the match may have been a bit different were one of the penalties awarded and converted by Brighton. Still, 4-0 at home sinks his Hughton’s men closer to the drop zone. Brighton has 23 points, two points above 17th place Saints and three clear of 18th place Stoke City.

Brighton 0-4 Chelsea: Magic Hazard runs the show

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  • Chelsea snap run of five-straight draws
  • Brighton have one win in last 13 PL games
  • Hazard scores twice, rips Brighton apart
  • Chelsea have won 11 of last 16 games

Chelsea beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as Eden Hazard scored twice and tore the Seagulls apart.

Two goals in the opening six minutes from Hazard and Willian set Chelsea on their way to victory, then Hazard capped the win off with a fine individual goal late on and Victor Moses added a fourth.

Brighton battled hard and hit the woodwork and had penalty shouts but Chris Hughton‘s men were outclassed by Hazard in dazzling form.

Without the suspended duo of Alvaro Morata and Pedro, plus injured goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea deserved the win and moved level on 50 points with second-place Manchester United, while the Seagulls are just three points above the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Less than three minutes into the game Chelsea took the lead as Moses’ cross from the right deflected into Hazard’s path and the Belgian took a touch to settle himself before he rifled home.

It got worse soon after for Brighton as Chelsea pounced to double their lead via Willian. The Brazilian surged forward, played the ball into Eden Hazard and he then flicked the ball into Michy Batshuayi with the back of his heel and Batshuayi followed suit to play in Willian who fired home. 2-0 with six minutes on the clock.

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Brighton responded well and should have had a penalty kick as Willy Caballero rushed off his line and appeared to catch Ezequiel Schelotto, but no penalty kick was given and Chelsea cleared the danger. Moments later a high ball into the box caused Cabellero problems again as he flapped at a cross but his defense bailed him out.

On the break Batshuayi had an effort stopped by Mat Ryan as Hazard ran riot, while at the other end Caballero then made a superb save to deny Tomer Hemed and Shane Duffy nodded wide as Brighton had their chances in a action-packed first half.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ] 

In the second half, Brighton continued to push for a goal back and Davy Propper‘s header hit the post and came out. Andreas Christensen was then forced off after being involved in a nasty clash of heads as David Luiz came on.

At the other end Willian had his free kick pushed onto the post by Ryan as Chelsea looked to end any hope of a Brighton comeback.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Hazard (who else?) did just that in the closing stages as he sauntered towards goal and send Ryan the wrong way with a fine finish to make it 3-0.

Charly Musonda then made a great impression as he jumped off the bench and clipped a fine ball forward for Moses who controlled and finished for Chelsea’s four goal to hammer the final nail in Brighton’s coffin.

Brighton nabs club record signing Jurgen Locadia

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Brighton & Hove Albion have secured a new striker for the stretch run of the Premier League season, signing Jurgen Locadia from PSV Eindhoven for a club record fee.

Locadia cost Brighton $19.3 million, breaking their old transfer record, set just last August when they brought Jose Izqueirdo from Club Brugge, by about $500,000.

The 24-year-old Dutchman has nine goals and six assists this season in 15 Eredivisie appearances for PSV, although he’s missed their last three games reportedly with a hamstring injury. He scored four goals in one game against FC Utretcht back in late September.

“We are delighted to have signed Jurgen, and pleased to welcome him to the club,” said Brighton manager Chris Hughton in the official club release. “He is a player we have been aware of for sometime, and it’s been no secret we have wanted to add a striker of his type. He is a strong, powerful and quick center-forward, with a real eye for goal and will increase our attacking options in the second half of the season.”

Locadia made his Eredivisie debut with PSV in style back in 2012, scoring a hat-trick against VVV Venlo in a 6-0 win. He would go on to score a career-high 13 goals in his first full season in 2013/14, eventually racking up 62 goals for PSV across all competitions in 176 appearances.

A PSV youth product, Locadia has been in the national team picture, riding the bench for a pair of World Cup qualifiers in October, but has not received a cap for the Netherlands. He was in the national youth setup as well, making appearances for the U-17 and U-21 sides.