(Photo Credit/Source- TSM Plug)
Chelsea host the Saints at 7:45pm on Wednesday night looking to build up some momentum after their crucial 0-1 win in the London derby against Crystal Palace last weekend.
A Chelsea win would take the Blues up to 46 points, which would solidify their space in the top 4.
The Blues cannot drop points at home in this game, as this is a game that the Blues are expected to win. And with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United hovering just outside the top 4, a Chelsea loss in this game would really open up the top 4 race.
The Saints come into this game after back to back defeats at home to West-Ham and Manchester City at the weekend, however they are outside the relegation zones on goal difference.
However there is more of a positive feel around Southampton, after Ralph Hasenhuttl has breathed new life into the Saints- making them a more attacking team, and this has led to them picking up an unexpected win against Arsenal.
So they have shown that they can spring a surprise on a top 6 team, so can they repeat this trick when they travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night?
Can the Saints repeat what Leicester did to Chelsea, where the foxed picked up a surprise 0-1 win at Stamford Bridge before Christmas? Chelsea fans would hope not…
Recent form in the Premier League
Olivier Giroud is likely to miss out after he picked up an ankle injury in Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace at the weekend.
Pedro, Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Danny Drinkwater are all expected to remain sidelined.
Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand is nearing full fitness after back surgery but may not be ready to face Chelsea.
Michael Obafemi is expected to miss out again with a hamstring problem, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is suspended.
Predicted line ups;
Chelsea predicted starting eleven- Kepa, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Rüdiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic, Kante, Willian, Hazard, Morata.
Southampton predicted starting eleven- McCarthy, Yoshida, Stephens, Bednarek, Valery, Lemina, Romeu, Targett, Armstrong, Redmond, Ings.
Manager Comments (Quotes Credit- BBC Sport)
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri on the club’s injury list: “We are in trouble because in January we have to play every three days.
“We have to play 18 [more Premier League] matches, so other teams’ results are not important. But it is crucial to have continuity.”
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl: “The mentality and character of the team is okay. They believe in their qualities and we can do it better than we did.
“We did it against Arsenal and we can do it against Chelsea.”
Head to Head record
Chelsea come out on top on the head to head record against the Saints. These two clubs have met 101 times over the years, with Chelsea winning 45 times in all competitions against the Saints. There have been 28 draws between these sides. And the Saints have beaten the Blues 28 times.
The most recent meeting between these two sides was earlier this season in the Premier League, where Chelsea comprehensively beat the Saints by 0-3 at Saint Mary’s Stadium in October.
The most recent meeting between these two sides at Stamford Bridge was last season in the Premier League, where a Marcos Alonso free-kick goal was all that separated the two sides as the Blues beat the Saints 1-0. This game took place on the 16th December 2017.
Betting Odds/My Prediction
Bet 365 have made Chelsea favourites for this game with a Blues win being priced at 2/7. A draw between these two sides is being priced at 11/2. A surprise and shock Saints win is being priced at 10/1.
My realistic prediction for this game is a tight 1-0 win to Chelsea, with Eden Hazard scoring the only goal in this game.
However my optimistic prediction as a Chelsea fan for this game is a 3-1 Blues win, with goals from Hazard, Morata and Alonso giving the Blues a comprehensive win on Wednesday night. Danny Ings will score a consolation goal for the Saints.
Comment down below your score predictions for this game.
By Danyal Khan