Southampton welcomes Chelsea on Sunday at St Mary’s stadium in the second leg of their English Premier League as they continue their fight for Premier League survival.
Southampton’s season already appears in danger, they were beaten 2-3 by Arsenal on Saturday, few weeks after they were thrashed 0-4 by West Ham. However, if Soton is to avoid another hammering this weekend, they will have to approach the game cautiously. With that in mind, it would be no shock to see the Saints pack the defense as they did in the 3-2 win against West Brom on March 2.
On the other hand, Chelsea may be fighting a losing battle in defense of their Premier League title, but Antonio Conte will demand high standards continue to be set when they meet Southampton at St Mary ’s on Saturday.
The Blues’ campaign has been punctured by the odd poor performance, meaning they find themselves in the fifth place and 27 points behind leaders Manchester City. At this juncture, Chelsea’s ambition should be to secure themselves in the top five place, since they are three points ahead of Arsenal who are in the sixth position.
Mario Lemina is doubtful for the clash due to illness but it is hopeful that he will be available. Shane Long(ankle), Steven David (knock) and Sam McQueen (groin) remain sidelined.
Chelsea is hoping to put their disappointing draw with West Ham behind them and get back to winning ways. However, they will be without Davide Zappacosta who is a slight doubt due to a muscular injury. While Ethan Ampadu (broken ankle) and David Luiz (ankle injury) are both unavailable.
- Chelsea has won their last four league games against Southampton – they’ve never won five in a row against them.
- Southampton has claimed one victory in their nine Premier League games against the Blues at St Mary’s Stadium (D2, L6), winning 2-1 in March 2013 thanks to goals from Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert.
- Chelsea has won seven times in all competitions at the St Mary’s Stadium. The only visiting side with a better record is Manchester United, with 10 victories.
Southampton: McCarthy, Cedric, Stephens, Hoedt, Yoshida, Bertrand, Romeu, Tadic, Hojbjerg, Ward-Prowse, Long.
Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill (c), Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Morata, Hazard.
Hughes men would rather draw at home, then go calm the Foxes at King Power Stadium. However, I’ll give an upper hand to the Blues as they can’t afford to drop more points.
Prediction: Chelsea wins, Both teams to score.