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CHELSEA v Southampton: Preview

Date: Saturday 17th October 2020

Venue: Stamford Bridge

Kick-off: 15:00 BST

After a brief interruption for the internationals and with another national lockdown being held off for now, it’s back to the Premier League this afternoon.

For us, it’s a home game, playing host to a pretty solid looking Southampton side under Ralph Hasenhuttl. The Saints won this fixture last season, in a season where they showed they could be pretty successful away from home. They also won their last couple of games before the break and there’s just a point separating us going into today’s game.

Chelsea have had a bit of an up and down start to the season, although had a convincing 4-0 win against Palace last time out. The clean sheet was probably as satisfying as the 4 goals in that game after last season’s defensive concerns continued to show themselves in our previous games. These were compounded by an apparent crisis of confidence from Kepa Arrizabalaga and Eduoard Mendy was always going to be seen as our saviour from day one, even if it was just for negotiating the Velcro strap on his gloves.

Mendy isn’t in the squad today though, and neither is Thiago Silva, so I’m expecting Danny Ings to be the cause of as much stress and sweat on brows as the dodgy streams for the game this afternoon.

MANAGER’S VIEWS

Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, says “Mendy won’t be fit for the match tomorrow, we hope the injury isn’t too long. Thiago Silva after his trip and back, he’s not unfit but he isn’t ready to play the game because of the travelling and the game that he played, so he won’t be in the squad. Ben Chilwell is in the squad, he’s got over some of the feeling that he had from when we took him out of the England squad over the injury which he has had for a while now.  Christian Pulisic is in the squad and fit to play. Hakim Ziyech is in the squad, not fit to start but fit to participate in some minutes we hope.”

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl meanwhile, says “If they (Chelsea) are not better than last season then that’s a lot of money for nothing, so they have to be better. They have so much quality now with Kai Havertz and others. They are a team who are prepared to win title and trophies so it will be more difficult than last season, maybe.  The level is high and we have to reach their level otherwise it will be difficult to get something.”

SQUAD NEWS

For Chelsea, Edouard Mendy (thigh) misses out with an injury picked up in training with Senegal, Thiago Silva will be rested after a late return from international duty and Billy Gilmour isn’t ready to return. Ben Chilwell is fit despite withdrawing from England duty and Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are both available.

For Southampton, Moussa Djenepo and Mohammed Salisu are both ruled out and Stuart Armstrong also misses out after a positive coronavirus test. New signing Ibrahima Diallo is available for his debut, along with the returning Theo Walcott.

TEAMS

CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Chilwell; Kovacic, Kante, Mount; Havertz, Werner, Abraham

SOUTHAMPTON (Possible line-up): McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond; Ings, Adams

LAST SEASON

Chelsea 0-2 Southampton (26th December 2019)

CURRENT FORM (PL)

CHELSEA: WLDW

SOUTHAMPTON: LLWW

OTHER STUFF

  • Chelsea lost 2-0 at home to Southampton last season
  • Southampton could record back-to-back away league wins against the Blues for the first time since 1985.
  • Chelsea have won seven of the past nine league meetings.
  • Chelsea have won seven of their past eight league games at Stamford Bridge.
  • Southampton have collected 20 points away from home in 2020 – only Liverpool have fared better
  • Chelsea could keep a clean sheet in consecutive top-flight matches for the first time under Frank Lampard.
  • Southampton could record three successive top-flight clean sheets
  • Southampton.

PREDICTION

BBC Sport: Chelsea 2-0 Southampton

Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton

90min: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton

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