Chelsea seek ‘routine win’ at troubled Southampton


Chelsea won 3-2 at Southampton in April
Photo: Premier League

Chelsea seek ‘routine win’ at troubled Southampton

by Conor Dunford

Southampton will hope they can use the win on penalties against Everton in the Carabao Cup as a confidence boost to get a positive result against visiting Chelsea this weekend.

Mark Hughes side have struggled for form this season, inconsistent performances and a failure to hold onto a lead have seen the languish near the relegation zone again. But the in-form Danny Ings, who scored in that 1-1 draw on Tuesday night, can be a threat to any defence.

Chelsea manager Sarri will be using his full squad to combat this tie, after his side took on Hungarians MOL Vidi in the Europa League on Thursday night. The Italian saved the likes of Eden Hazard, Kante and Alonso for the bench, meaning they will be fresh for the clash on the south coast.

Southampton will have to put in their best performance of the season so far, if they are to get anything from this game. The likes of Redmond, Elyonoussi & Mario Lemina will need to be at their very best to stamp any kind of authority on the game.

In the Carabao Cup win against Everton, Hughes opted to use some of the fringe players in the squad, meaning Maya Yoshida & Jan Bednarek got a run out to put some much needed pressure on the faltering Vestegaard/Hoedt partnership. Shane Long will be hoping to fully recover from a recent knock to take part on Sunday afternoon.

Chelsea have continued their unbeaten Premier League start by holding Liverpool to a 1-1 draw, with Eden Hazard in sparkling form, having score the winner against the same opposition just a few days earlier in the cup. They will be confident of continuing that run and putting pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City as Chelsea put on a somewhat surprising title challenge.

The London side will look to Eden Hazard to produce the goods to brush aside Southampton, although Sarri might see this game as the perfect opportunity for his misfiring strikers. Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata have just one league goal between them this season and both look bereft of confidence. Coming up against a lamentable defence like Southampton may be exactly the game they need to overcome their dip in form.

The pressure is starting to mount on Southampton to put points on the board before they find themselves in the relegation zone. Their poor start has put questions around Hughes tenure at the club. But Chelsea, and Sarri, have plans of their own, and will look for a routine win this weekend.

Prediction – Southampton 1-4 Chelsea


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