Chelsea look to bounce back from two consecutive defeats in all competitions as Thomas Tuchel’s Blues welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge.
Victory could put Chelsea top of the table until Sunday afternoon, whereas Southampton can climb as high as 12th with a win.
Mason Mount is a doubt for Chelsea as he continues to recover from a knock which saw him sit out their last two matches.
Christian Pulisic (ankle) could also feature but Reece James (ankle) and N’Golo Kante (Coronavirus) are ruled out
Theo Walcott is set to be available for Southampton after regaining full match fitness, having recovered from a muscle injury which kept him out of the team in recent weeks.
Stuart Armstrong (calf) could also be available for selection but Jack Stephens (knee), Armando Broja (ineligibility) and Will Smallbone (knee) are ruled out.
- Chelsea have won just one of their last five league meetings against Southampton (W1, D3, L1).
- Southampton have lost two of their last five league trips to Stamford Bridge (W1, D2, L2).
- Both teams have won and scored one penalty apiece in 44 Premier League meetings.
- No Chelsea player has made more clearances this season than Cesar Azpilicueta, who has made 20 clearances in six appearances.
- Che Adams has won more aerial battles than any other Southampton player this season, having won 16 aerial battles in five league appearances.
Having suffered consecutive 1-0 defeats in the last week to Manchester City and Juventus, Chelsea should be eager to bounce back here especially after dominating in Juventus on Wednesday evening but they will need to sort out their end product when on attack which has gone AWOL in both matches.
Should those issues continue to flare up here then I do worry that Chelsea fans could be set for a repeat of 2012-13 season, where the Blues started well after winning the Champions League the previous season before hitting a rut.
Southampton though will pumped up for this match given their recent form at Stamford Bridge and will definitely have the quality needed to cause issues with their intelligent passing play, although finishing and defending will need to be perfect if they are to get a result from this match.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints though cannot afford to repeat their high-line defensive tactics after getting caught out defensively by a freak super long ball at home to Wolves last weekend, simply due to their defence being far too high up the pitch to track back in time and clear Raul Jimenez’s shot.
Poor end product though seems a common issue between both teams at present so this could well be a scrappy contest or a high-scoring thriller, although I do think that Southampton will have a draw in them if can nail their defensive tactics and avoid the high-line greed.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Southampton
Result: Chelsea 3-1 Southampton