Southampton vs Chelsea: It's imperative that Chelsea gets back to winning ways this weekend.
Chelsea travels south to the St Mary’s Stadium this Sunday as the only team to beat the home side...
Chelsea travels south to the St Mary’s Stadium this Sunday as the only team to beat the home side in 2016. After an excellent performance against Manchester United, Chelsea’s betting odds for the Southampton game so have them earmarked as favourites.
It’s important that we forget every aspect of the West Ham game in midweek as quickly as possible both on and off the pitch. A host of changes did not help the balance of team and unsettled the players with the home side taking full advantage and credit to them. As for what happened between the two sets of supporters? I’ll leave that to the Newspapers.
So to Southampton and to their impressive record under the new Manager Claude Puel. He seems to have come in during the summer and got on with his work under the radar and after a slow start; his team has really picked up their form with some good performances and results to match. The point gained at Manchester City last weekend is the perfect example of that.
Southampton has a good, underrated squad in my opinion and the signing of Nathan Redmond has been a good investment. Charlie Austin up front has found his goalscoring form of late and both with be a threat to Chelsea’s back three in the late kick off on Sunday afternoon.
Their midfield is marshaled by ex-Barcelona and Chelsea player Oriol Romeu who provides class in front of their two impressive centre backs, Virgil Van Dijk and Jose Fonte. Southampton this season are a tough nut to crack and Chelsea will need to be at their best to do so.
So what of Antonio Conte’s side and his possible selection? It’s clear that having a settled side (give or take the odd change here and there) has benefitted the Blues. Three good wins against Hull, Leicester and the thumping of Manchester United last weekend has given the side confidence and the Manager vindication of his decision to change the team’s tactical approach.
Despite the changes to the team that faced West Ham on Wednesday night, I believe that the manager will revert back to the side that started the game against Manchester United, which will mean that Willian would have to settle for a place on the bench after being given compassionate leave recently. Pedro has stepped in and performed really, really well and deserves to keep his place.
Chelsea will be looking for defensive stability throughout to provide a base for the likes of Victor Moses, Eden Hazard, Pedro and Diego Costa to exploit as they did a week ago.
Unbeaten at home in the Premier League since Chelsea won 2-1 last February, what are the chances of Chelsea returning to haunt Southampton once again?