Southampton FC host Chelsea FC at St. Mary’s Stadium on Sunday afternoon as the Saints hope to build upon last weekend’s highly impressive performance away to Manchester City. The Saints held the Citizens to a 1-1 draw last Sunday, with Kelechi Iheanacho’s second-half strike cancelling out Nathan Redmond’s fine opener for Claude Puel’s men.
Chelsea meanwhile recorded an even more impressive – and frankly shocking – result on the same day, thumping Manchester United and old Blue’s boss Jose Mourinho 4-0 on the day – the Portuguese worst Premier League result ever. In fact only the famous 5-0 Barcelona thrashing of his Real Madrid side was a worse result in his managerial career.
Indeed, the Blues’ controlled waves upon waves of pressure on David De Gea’s goal on the day, with Eden Hazard unsurprisingly centric to most of the Chelsea attacks. The emphatic result and accompanying three points lifted the Blues to 4th in the table, having accrued 19 points from nine matches.
Notably, Antonio Conte’s men are only one point behind the trio ahead in the table all locked on 20 points thus far; illustrative of the tight nature of the Premier League with just under a quarter of the season surpassed. In a similar vein, Southampton will be pleased with their league position – sitting 8th in the table, trailing their hosts by six points.
Southampton’s haul of three wins and four draw from nine matches is even more impressive given the fact they have a new manager and are having to deal with a testing Europa League campaign, having recently lost away to Internazionale in a very competitive group leg tie.
With regard to team news for Southampton Ryan Bertrand and Matt Targett are still doubts for Southampton so Sam McQueen could retain his spot at left-back. Florin Gardos, Jeremy Pied, Shane Long and Cedric Soares meanwhile are all ruled out for the home side. Finally, Sofiane Boufal could be in line for his first league start for Southampton after scoring a superb on his full debut against Sunderland in the League Cup in midweek.
In contrast for Chelsea it is expected Conte will drop John Terry who struggled against West Ham United in their EFL Cup tie away to West Ham midweek, where the Blues’ 2-0 loss for further marred by crowd trouble between both sets of fans. Conte isn’t expected to make many changes from the side that beat Manchester United 4-0 last weekend, although he may be tempted to reinstall Willian back to the starting XI at the expense of Pedro.
Much of the stats both recent and historic suggest Sunday’s clash will be a thoroughly competitive affair. Southampton have seen over 2.5 goals in 10 of their last 12 matches against Chelsea in all competitions. Meanwhile for the Blues there have been over 2.5 goals scored in eight of Chelsea’s last 9 games
Southampton know they can put it up to the big boys, given their result against Man City last weekend. However lightning doesn’t strike twice, and Conte’s men should just have enough to win this highly anticipated Premier League clash.
Recommended Bet: Chelsea to win & both teams to score @4.75 at Bet365