Chelsea confirmed team vs Brighton: Reece James, Christian Pulisic and Jorginho return

Reece James is back in the Chelsea team to face Brighton & Hove Albion as Frank Lampard returns to a four-man defence that sees Cesar Azpilicueta shifted across to left back.

Christian Pulisic has also overcome his hamstring issue, sustained when warming down after the Boxing Day defeat to Southampton, to make a first start in three weeks.

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James’s inclusion is a surprise after Lampard said following Sunday’s win away to Arsenal that the right back would be out for another week or 10 days because he injured an ankle in training on Christmas day.

Azpilicueta will step in for Emerson Palmieri, who was taken off in the first half at the Emirates, on the right of a back four also featuring Toni Rudiger and Kurt Zouma. F

ikayo Tomori is not part of the matchday squad but it is unclear whether he has been rested or has picked up an injury.

N’Golo Kante will partner Jorginho in the centre of midfield as Mateo Kovacic is rested, while Mason Mount lines up at No10 with Willian and Pulisic on the flanks.

Tammy Abraham will continue to lead the line.

Tariq Lamptey is named on the bench once again, alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi and Michy Batshuayi.

You can follow all the action in our live blog with Alan Smith at the Amex here. Kick-off on the south coast is 12.30pm.

Chelsea: Kepa; Reece James, Toni Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, Cesar Azpilicueta; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho; Willian, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic; Tammy Abraham.

Subs: Willy Caballero; Andreas Christensen, Tariq Lamptey, Emerson, Mateo Kovacic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Michy Batshuayi.