Chelsea vs Brighton: Connor Goldson could have earned Stamford Bridge chance after impressive debut

The centre-back did well against Watford but Shane Duffy's return from suspension gives Chris Hughton a decision to make

Monday 25 December 2017 20:18
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Goldson kept Andre Gray quiet on his Premier League debut
Goldson kept Andre Gray quiet on his Premier League debut

Highly-rated defender Connor Goldson is pushing for a place in Brighton’s team to play Chelsea on Boxing Day after impressing on his Premier League debut.

Centre-back Goldson hasn’t played since undergoing heart surgery in March, the result of a problem unearthed during a routine screening, but got his chance against Watford after Shane Duffy picked up a one-game suspension.

The former Shrewbsury man coped well with the Hornets’ attack, helping his side keep a clean sheet and secure a much-needed win to pull the away from the relegation zone.

Seagulls manager Chris Hughton must now decide whether to stick with the 25-year-old or recall Republic of Ireland international Duffy for the Boxing Day clash at Stamford Bridge.

"It's a happy changing room in there for Connor because he's a very popular player here, we all know what he went through last year but that's a while ago now and we're really delighted that our medical staff and our screening situation that we have here picked it up," Hughton said.

"The difficulty he has had is he's had Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy in front of him that have both been really excellent for us.

"You have to wait for your chance, I thought he was very good.

"Everybody is really delighted for him and he's deserved it because of the hard work he's put in."

Saturday's narrow success at the Amex Stadium brought to an end a seven-match winless streak for Albion.

Winter transfer window: Ten players looking for a move in January

Hughton acknowledges it will be a tough task to make it back-to-back victories when they visit the champions.

"We go to Chelsea knowing in most people's minds it is difficult to get a result there.

"There aren't too many who will expect that but that's the challenge and for this club and these players these are the challenges we have been looking forward to the most.

"In the other big games, apart from Liverpool (a 5-1 loss), we have been in the games."

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