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Chelsea - Southampton Preview: Mourinho, is now the time for change?

Chelsea hosts Southampton at Stamford Bridge this Saturday under real pressure to take three poin...

Chelsea hosts Southampton at Stamford Bridge this Saturday under real pressure to take three points and launch themselves out of the bottom half of the Premier League table.

The Blues have clipped yet another snag in what’s been a stuttering campaign so far. The Blues’ messy draw against Newcastle last time out in the league indicated the champions are far from back to winning ways. Their confidence took another hit in the Champions League when they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to FC Portugal on the road on Wednesday evening.

Southampton is on a high after recording an impressive 3-1 over Swansea City last weekend, and Ronald Koeman also has a chance to give fans a first glimpse of new signing Jordy Clasie following his recovery from an ankle injury.

Despite the suspended Diego Costa and long-term absentee Thibaut Courtois, Jose Mourinho has a full squad to select from. The Chelsea boss, who’s under increasing pressure to recapture the attacking flair his side displayed in the first half of last term, could reshuffle his starting eleven as the likes of Eden Hazard, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic continue to disappoint.

Having shown no rhythm of any sort this campaign, both sides will be desperate to get a win and carry some confidence into the international break.

Chelsea Form

(L) FC Porto 2-1 Chelsea (Champions League, October 2015)
(D) Newcastle United 2-2 Chelsea (Premier League, September 2015)
(W) Walsall 1-4 Chelsea (League Cup, September 2015)
(W) Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal (Premier League, September 2015)
(W) Chelsea 4-0 Maccabi Tel Aviv (Champions League, September 2015)

Southampton Form

(W) Southampton 3-1 Swansea City (Premier League, September 2015)
(W) Milton Keynes Dons 0-6 Southampton (League Cup, September 2015)
(L) Southampton 2-3 Manchester United (Premier League, September 2015)
(D) West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Southampton (Premier League, September 2015)
(W) Southampton 3-0 Norwich City (Premier League, September 2015)

Last Five Meetings

Chelsea 1-1 Southampton (Premier League, March 2015)
Southampton 1-1 Chelsea (Premier League, December 2014)
Southampton 0-3 Chelsea (Premier League, January 2014)
Chelsea 3-1 Southampton (Premier League, December 2013)
Southampton 2-1 Chelsea (Premier League, March 2013)

Chelsea Team News

No fresh injury or suspension concerns for the home side – Diego Costa will serve the final of his three-game ban, while Thibaut Courtois continues to nurse his knee following an operation on a torn meniscus.

Southampton Team News

Summer signing Jordy Clasie is available to make his Premier League debut after recovering from an ankle injury he sustained before the opening weekend.

Defender Florin Gardos and goalkeeper Fraser Forster remain sidelined with long-term knee injuries.

Probable Lineups

Score Prediction

I feel the Blues lineup has to be tweaked if we are to shake off our stuttering form. It’s time for Mourinho to wake up and follow through with his threat to drop anyone who’s form doesn’t warrant a place in the starting eleven.

The most pressing selection issue is in defence. To say we’ve been mediocre at back this season is putting it very kindly. I’m eagerly awaiting the Portuguese to finally explore alternative options with his back four. His continued selection of Ivanovic at right-back is downright baffling and although opponents have capitalised on his vulnerability time and time again, nothing suggests Mourinho is going to switch things up any time soon.

Anything short of a win today would a disaster. Confidence must be low in the camp right now, but I think we can scrape a 2-1 win if Mourinho tinkers with his side. What are your score predictions?

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