Roberto De Zerbi has praised Graham Potter for his work at Albion but said that his return is an “important game” for his team.

Speaking ahead of Potter’s first game at the Amex since leaving earlier in the season, De Zerbi shared that while he is happy with the performances so far, he is very keen to take three points against a Chelsea side unbeaten under their new manager.

As the Italian looks to get his first win with the team since joining in September, Brighton fans will also be hoping that the team can get their first ever win against the South London side in the Premier League.

De Zerbi said: “Graham Potter did a very good job and I have to say thanks for this team, but tomorrow I want to win. One win can change this moment, which is not bad but when the results are not good you are a bit sad.

On the possibility of breaking both ducts, he added: “Every game we have the opportunity to win the game and to take three points. It’s important against Chelsea because it’s a big game, it’s a difficult game, its an important game but if we win against Chelsea we only take three points, not ten points. We need to stay focused on this game.”

The Argus: Graham Potter in his time at BrightonGraham Potter in his time at Brighton

Football is “not a science” as De Zerbi puts it, pointing out that Potter’s knowledge of his former players does not mean anything when it comes to Saturday’s game.

He gave credit to his team for their style of play and individual skill in recent games and said that while he was not “100 per cent happy”, he was pleased with his tenure so far.

In a message to fans, he said: “It’s always fantastic to work in our stadium and I’m sorry that we have only one point in two games. I hope to win for me, our players and our fans.”

As fans anticipate a fierce atmosphere in the lead up to Potter’s return, so do the players and their manager and Albion will be desperate to show just how much they’ve moved on from their old manager.