Chelsea’s game against the Saints at the Stamford bridge should be a roller coaster for the West Londoners. Chelsea head into the game off the back of a 1-0 win against a tricky Palace side. Sarri’s men should prove too strong for a weak Southampton side-no disrespect. It should be more of a question of by how many goals.
Chelsea’s head coach, Sarri, had this to say about his January fixtures: “We are in trouble because, in January, we have to play every three days”.
However, the Italian gaffer will know that he would have no excuses if his Hazard-inspired team fail to overcome 17th-placed Southampton at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea fans will be licking their lips considering how poor this Southampton team have been this season. Although, Chelsea have slipped up in some matches, they should come away with this one.
The Blues have come out tops in each of their last seven games against the Saints in all competitions, scoring two or more goals on all occasions.
Recent Premier League form: L W W L W W
Home matches in quick succession against a below-par West Ham and an out-of-form Guardiola side ended up in losses for the Saints. A trip to Stamford Bridge could spell more doom considering how poor their defence have been this season. They have conceded 38 goals at a rate of a goal every 47 minutes.
Recent Premier League form: L L W W L L
Chelsea will be without the services of French striker Olivier Giroud after he picked up an injury during Sunday’s win against Palace. Pedro is also sidelined with a hamstring injury.
In addition, the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Danny Drinkwater would also be unavailable for selection.
Sarri will probably fancy some tweaks to his favoured starting lineup coming off the back of a hectic Christmas schedule.
Southampton, on the other hand, will be without Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Ryan Bertrand.
Possible starting lineups
Chelsea: Arrizabalaga; Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Luis, Alonso; Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic, Willian, Hazard; Morata.
Southampton: McCarthy; Yoshida, Stephens, Bednareck; Valery, Lemina, Romeu, Targett; Armstrong, Redmond, Ings.
Chelsea 2-1 Southampton
I tip Chelsea to edge out the Saints with both Hazard and Ings getting on the scoresheet.