The Blues head to the south coast this Sunday as they take on Southampton in the Premier League. With Frank Lampard’s men on a three-match winning streak, claiming all three points at St Mary’s is on the agenda.
The fixture takes place at 2pm UK time on Sunday 8th October and is available to watch on Sky Sports.
Victories over Grimsby Town, Brighton and Lille mean Chelsea go into the match in their best form of the season. The Blues are also unbeaten away from home in the league since the opening week of the campaign when Manchester United condemned them to a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford.
Southampton, on the other hand, have seen their form dip since impressive performances against Brighton and Manchester United. The Saints have lost consecutive Premier League games against south coast neighbours Bournemouth and strugglers Spurs, but a 4-0 demolition of Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup sandwiched in between shows how dangerous the hosts can be when in top gear.
After a shaky start to the season, Chelsea go into the game in a respectable 7th place; just a solitary point off of the top four, a situation that looked unlikely to many not too long ago. With goals flying in at both ends, only Liverpool and Manchester City can boast a better record in front of goal than the Blues this season, however the 13 shipped at the other end is a figure only worsened by Watford and Norwich City.
If Chelsea have been a Bugatti Veyron in the final third, Southampton have been a not-so Reliant Robin and sit in 14th. Seven goals in as many games for the Saints suggests Chelsea’s second Premier League clean sheet of the season may come in successive matches, but Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men have scored in every match in all competitions since their opening weekend clash at Burnley – eight consecutive matches.
The Blues’ record against Southampton is as impressive as it gets. Chelsea have won more games (eight) and scored more goals (22) than any other side against Southampton in the Premier League at St Mary’s.
The 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge earlier this year was the first time in eight meetings that Southampton did not come away with defeat, and they have only won one Premier League game against Chelsea at home since November 2000.
Heading into the match, the Blues remain without Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Emerson, and the timeframe of Antonio Rudiger’s return remains unclear.
On N’golo Kante’s fitness, Lampard said:
“It’s something we’ll have to watch over the next 24 or 48 hours to make sure he’s okay. All players are on a semi-recovery programme after the Lille game but it’s also the fact he hasn’t played much.”
On Chelsea’s opponents:
“Southampton is always a very difficult place to go. You have to be tip-top and we’ll have to match it at least.”
Hasenhuttl will be without Cedric and Moussa Djenepo, with the former pulling out of the defeat to Spurs in the warm-up while the latter has missed Southampton’s last three matches.
However, the Saints boss confirmed Che Adams is back in contention.
“Che played every game until the last game from the beginning and 90 minutes against Portsmouth and I wanted to give him a rest.
He showed this week that he is in better condition and is clearer in the mind. He can be an option for Sunday, yes.”
Written by Liam Wilson.