Brighton boss Graham Potter is hopeful Tariq Lamptey will be fit to face former club Chelsea after suffering an injury setback ahead of the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
Seagulls defender Lamptey was a surprise omission from Albion’s starting XI for Friday evening’s clash with the Eagles due to a slight groin issue.
The England Under-21 international managed a lively second-half cameo as a late Joachim Andersen own goal prevented Palace snatching victory courtesy of Conor Gallagher’s seventh strike of the season.
Wing-back Lamptey, who has been in red-hot form, only returned to Premier League action in October following a 10-month absence due to a recurring hamstring injury.
Potter admits the lengthy spell on the sidelines was a factor in him taking precautions but is optimistic the player will be available when Thomas Tuchel’s European champions visit the Amex Stadium on Tuesday.
“Tariq was not ready to start,” said the head coach. “He had a tight abductor so he was not ready for 90 minutes.
“He is fine he just missed a bit of training. Obviously with Tariq and what he has been through we went on the side of caution.
“He had a couple of days of training and with some time (against Palace) it would have done him some good.
“If there is no further problem, he will be OK for Chelsea.”
Brighton were left with mixed emotions against the Eagles after dominating possession and squandering numerous chances before preventing a galling loss three minutes from time.
Pascal Gross saw a tame first-half penalty saved by Jack Butland, Neal Maupay had a goal ruled out, while Leandro Trossard and Jakub Moder were each impressively denied by Palace’s in-form goalkeeper.
Poland midfielder Moder also struck the crossbar before the Seagulls were sucker-punched by on-loan Chelsea midfielder Gallagher scoring in the 69th minute with the visitors’ only attempt on target.
French forward Maupay, whose low cross forced Danish defender Andersen to divert the ball beyond Butland, hailed Brighton’s relentless spirit.
“We never gave up,” he told Albion’s website. “We’d have loved to win it for the fans, but I think they saw that we gave everything
“Even when we are 1-0 or 2-0 down, we keep pushing and playing our game.
“I think it showed the strong mentality of the team.”
Despite Palace going agonisingly close to winning in Sussex for the third successive season, goalscorer Gallagher admits Patrick Vieira’s men have plenty of room for improvement.
“It’s hard to take but I feel like if you look at the game, I don’t think we deserved to win to be honest,” the England midfielder told the Eagles’ website.
“We weren’t good enough. I feel like they were the better side, but we got a goal and when you go 1-0 up it’s hard to take conceding right at the end.
“We are disappointed, but we’ve got to look at the bigger picture.
“The performance wasn’t good enough. We’re happy to get a point – they’re a good side, a hard team to play against, so we’ll look to improve in the next game and see what’s gone wrong and what we can work on.”
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Brighton defender Antef Tsoungui, who made his senior debut in the Carabao Cup win at Cardiff in August, has signed a one-year contract extension until 2023.