Date: Saturday 18th February 2023
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
It wasn’t another draw Wednesday night, unfortunately it wasn’t a win either, so we go into today’s Premier League game against Southampton still looking for the elusive 3-points.
Our biggest issue is the lack of goals because that was all that was missing against Dortmund in the Champions League midweek. We were the better side and a win wouldn’t have flattered us but a failure to convert chances and a momentary lapse cost us in the end.
Obviously in a run of frustrating games with minimal joy, we’ll have had today’s game earmarked as a safe bet against a rock bottom Southampton– so naturally, they sack the manager before we play. They’ll predictably come into the game fresh and ready to battle under Ruben Selles who intends to make it as hard for us as possible.
We come into today’s game 10th in the table, with 3 Premier League draws and a Champions League defeat behind us, in fact, we’ve won just three of our last 16 games in all competitions and no small part of that is down to our lack of goals, with just five in our last 14 games across the board. Southampton come into today’s game off the back of a 2-1 defeat to 10-man Wolves at the weekend. They’ve lost nine of their last 10 top-flight games and 15 in total this season, leaving them bottom of the table.
Maybe unsurprisingly, given the sort of season we’re having, we lost the reverse fixture to Southampton in August. We’ve also failed to win three of the last four league meetings with the Saints at Stamford Bridge – see where I’m going with this?
Going into today’s game, Chelsea manager Graham Potter, says “I thought the Dortmund performance away from home was another step forward but we have a different challenge at the weekend. Satisfied but always room to improve.
It’s a game we want to win. There’s no point in focusing on four months away. We’re focused on Southampton. We have to be ready for that challenge, to play at home and try to get three points. Anything can come at you because they have a caretaker manager and a week to prepare. We have no reference, that’s the challenge. I think there’s a big challenge coming our way.”
Southampton stand-in manager Ruben Selles, meanwhile, says “I’m not going to be different just because I was the assistant coach and I’m the manager now. I think this group is amazing. Our target is to show an identity, be a unit and make the game as hard as possible for Chelsea. I think we have a group that can stay in the Premier League.”
For Chelsea, Armando Broja (ACL), N’Golo Kante, Edouard Mendy (finger), and Christian Pulisic (knee) remain out injured. Raheem Sterling (hamstring) is a doubt, whilst Ben Chilwell may not be risked after the knock he took against Dortmund. Wesley Fofana, Denis Zakaria and Mateo Kovacic are all available.
For Southampton, Valentino Livramento (knee) and Juan Larios (hamstring) are injured, whilst Kyle Walker-Peters (hamstring) and Che Adams (unspecified) will be assessed.
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Arrizabalaga; James, Thiago Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella; Loftus-Cheek, Fernandez; Madueke, Felix, Mudryk; Havertz
SOUTHAMPTON (Possible line-up): Bazunu; Caleta-Car, Bednarek, Salisu; Walker-Peters, Lavia, Ward-Prowse, Alcaraz, Perraud; Sulemana, Onuachu
Chelsea 3-1 Southampton (2nd October 2021)
- Chelsea lost the reverse fixture in August
- Southampton could complete a league double against Chelsea for the first time in 35 years.
- Chelsea have just two wins in 13.
- Chelsea have drawn three successive league games for the first time in 11 years.
- Southampton have 1 sheet in 28 Premier League games.
- Southampton have lost nine of their previous 10 league games.
- Southampton are one short of 100 Premier League away wins.
Sportsmole: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton