In a throwback to 2004, the Blues have made a series of bold signings aimed at re-establishing their domestic dominance. The likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz have not moved to west London to merely finish fourth.
While the addition of more attacking quality was desirable, manager Frank Lampard has also made moves to strengthen a leaky backline. Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell should prove upgrades, but Lampard will have to address questions surrounding his ability to organise a defence if Chelsea are to challenge for silverware.
Their opponents Brighton enter the new season looking to take the next step. After years of uneasy consolidation, manager Graham Potter navigated his debut year in charge with admirable resourcefulness.
Adam Lallana should prove a classy addition to midfield and the returning Ben White strengthens their defence. If Neal Maupay builds on the promising signs of improvement he exhibited post-lockdown, then Brighton may surprise people this year.
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The two teams actually met on the south coast in a pre-season friendly a fortnight ago, ending in a 1-1 draw. Brighton fielded an experimental 5-3-2 formation and it would be no surprise to see Potter conjure a tactical trick from his sleeve for this match.
Tariq Lampety will hope to make the starting lineup against his former club, while playmaker Pascal Groß will hope his pre-season strike against Chelsea will force his inclusion from the start.
For all the excitement over Chelsea's new stars, their lineup on Monday will be more akin to last season's team. Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Ziyech are ruled out through injury, although American starlet Christian Pulisic should be available having recovered from a hamstring injury sustained in the FA Cup final. Mateo Kovacic is suspended after his sending off in that match.
Predicted Line Ups
Brighton: Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster, March, Veltman; Bissouma, Lallana, Alzate; Maupay, Trossard
Chelsea: Kepa; James, Rüdiger, Zouma, Alonso; Kanté, Jorginho; Mount, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi; Werner
The two teams faced each other in the aforementioned friendly in August, ending in the same 1-1 scoreline as their last league meeting on New Year's Day.
Brighton ended last season with an impressive away win at Burnley, although this masked some mixed post-restart form. While it is no disgrace to be thrashed by Manchester City, the failure to beat Steve Bruce's Newcastle at home will be of more concern. Still, Brighton accumulated the required points for survival and the new season optimism at the Amex is not misplaced.
Chelsea scrambled into fourth place last season, their qualification for the Champions League owing as much to Leicester's collapse as their own form. Despite this, Lampard's team are capable of beating anybody on their day as proven by their FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester United. The impact of their chastening experience in Munich remains to be seen.
Here is how each side has fared in their last five competitive fixtures.
Burnley 1-2 Brighton (26/07)
Brighton 0-0 Newcastle (20/07)
Southampton 1-1 Brighton (16/07)
Brighton 0-5 Manchester City (11/07)
Brighton 1-3 Liverpool (08/07)
Bayern Munich 4-1 Chelsea (08/08)
Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (01/08)
Chelsea 2-0 Wolves (26/07)
Liverpool 5-3 Chelsea (22/07)
Manchester United 1-3 Chelsea (19/07)
Hopes are high at both clubs that promising performances last term will be built upon this year.
For Brighton, this would constitute a season of mid-table solidity rather than a flirtation with relegation. While the teams around them have also improved, Potter will be optimistic of his side's chances of achieving their goal. Brighton troubled plenty of Champions League contenders at home last season and Potter will be confident of doing so again.
However, it is hard to look beyond Chelsea for this game. While more realistic Blues fans recognise that their team remains a work in progress, expectations have risen after this summer's transfer splurge. Lampard is fast becoming a marmite manager, with social media staunchly divided on his abilities. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, but Chelsea dropped points in similar matches last season and improvement must be seen.
While it is unlikely the new-look Chelsea will gel instantly, the collective talent on show should prove too much for Brighton.
Prediction: Brighton 0-2 Chelsea