Chris Hughton says Albion are in a better mood to test Chelsea.

But that will mean nothing when they come face-to-face with Eden Hazard and his team-mates at the Amex tomorrow.

The Seagulls were in a poor run of form and uncomfortably close to the relegation places when Hazard ripped them apart in Chelsea's 4-0 victory at the Amex in January.

They are just below halfway this time, have an 11-point lead over Huddersfield in 18th and are seeking a fourth home win in succession.

Hughton (below) told The Argus: "I think we are in decent form at the moment.

The Argus: "These are the things building up to the game, yesterday, today, tomorrow.

"They are the facts, that we are in a better position than this stage last season, but then come kick-off time everything goes out of the window.

"It's about then a performance. That's what we will be judged on always.

"It's certainly more comfortable being where we are at this moment but that stands for nothing on Sunday."

Hazard scored twice and tormented Albion when the teams last met.

Hughton, asked if the Belgian ace is the best player in the Premier League, said: "If he's not then he is very close to it. That is not just at this moment, that is over a period of time and how consistent he has been.

"He was outstanding at the Amex last year. He is one of a group of players they have offensively who are a real threat. There is no denying he is a world class player who on his day can cause problems to the best defenders in the world.

"That's something we know and have to be mindful of."

Antonio Conte was in charge of Chelsea the last time they came to the south coast.

Fellow Italian Maurizio Sarri (below) took over in the summer when Conte was sacked and has changed the way Chelsea play.

The Argus: Sarri has returned to a flat back four, N'Golo Kante plays higher up the pitch in midfield and Hazard was used as a false No.9 in last Saturday's 2-0 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Hughton said: "Chelsea are a different challenge this season. They have a lot of possession. So they are certainly different to last season, and credit to the team.

"When you have a different manager that is instilling a different way of playing, it is about adapting to that.

"And I think what they have done is adapted to it really well. Of course he has brought in acquisitions in the summer that fit in with the way he wants to play, so it is a different type of challenge but still a very difficult one.

"It will be about taking precautions against Hazard, and about us as a team. It will be both.

"There are in every team going to be individuals that you know if you give them the license that they want, that they can really hurt you.

"And of course in the best teams, they have a few, as Chelsea do. But you have to be strong as a team, because although Hazard is an outstanding player, they have other outstanding players, and you have got to be able to cope with that as a team."

Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo is a major doubt for Albion after missing the 1-0 defeat at Burnley with a knee injury.

Central defender Shane Duffy serves the second of a three-match suspension which also rules him out at Bournemouth next Saturday.