Southampton vs Chelsea
English Premier League
Date: 14th April 2018, Saturday.
Kick-off at 12:30 UK/ 13:30 CET
Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium (Southampton).
Southampton are desperate for points as they sit inside the relegation zone needing 3 points to move into safety. The team is coming on the back of three consecutive defeats and the new manager Mark Hughes have plenty of issues ahead of welcoming Chelsea to the St. Mary’s Stadium.
The main problems lie in the defense with the team conceding 50 goals, more than in their four previous seasons. The fragility at back was evident in the 3-2 defeat at Arsenal last week. It was a day when the forwards lived up to the occasion, but the holes in the defense let the team once again.
Talking about the attack, Hughes have issues there as well. The best of the pack, Charlie Austin has been unable to stay fit for longer periods. While the likes of Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini have struggled. It is a surprise to see this team in the bottom three, considering they are ranked 7th in the league in terms of scoring chances creation.
Chelsea have a few problems on their own in the trip to St. Mary’s. They are on a two match win-less run following the 1-1 draw against West Ham last week and furthermore the team managed only 2 wins from their 8 Premier League games.
The stats are even worse than it sounds as those wins came against relegation threatened West Brom and Crystal Palace. Meantime, they lost to the like of Watford and Bournemouth and made it to 5 defeats with stronger teams like United, City and Spurs taking them to the cleaners.
With the poor run of form, the Blues fell out of the Champions League qualification race and now sit at a 10 point distance from top four teams. Their Europa League spot is also in danger as the gap with outside top six is 8 points. Chelsea simply can’t afford to drop points against moderate teams in the domestic league anymore.
Southampton vs Chelsea: Head-to-head
- Chelsea are on a four match winning run against the Saints.
- Southampton have won just once in the last 9 Premier League matches against the Blues, drew 2 and lost 6.
- Five of their last 7 h2h meetings across all venues saw both teams scoring and the exact same happened at the Southampton’s home ground.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in the last 4 at the St. Mary’s Stadium, 3 wins and 1 draws.
- Besides, the Blues lost just 1 of their last 10 visits to Southampton in all competitions, won 7 and drew twice.
Southampton vs Chelsea: Prediction
The Saints haven’t been able to safeguard their back-line this season and the trend continue in the recent weeks with the team conceding 8 goals from the last 3 games. Moreover, they managed only 1 win from the previous 19 Premier League games and we must expect their confidence and morale to be at rock bottom.
Chelsea, despite their trouble, still manage to create enough scoring chances against teams sitting in the bottom half of the table. Their problem is a misfiring frontline, but cannot expect this to continue week in week out with the quality of players in their eleven. Yet, their defense is nowhere it used to be in previous seasons and therefore, they will concede at the St. Mary’s especially when Southampton are capable of creating chances on their own as well. But, I see Chelsea outscoring their opponents in a must win game.
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Southampton vs Chelsea: Team News and Predicted Line-ups
Southampton: Team News
The experienced Steven Davis is sidelined since February and now Jack Stephens join him after the red card against Arsenal last week.
Shane Long and Mario Lemina are struggling to hit full fitness and could miss from Saturday’s starting eleven.
Southampton: Predicted Line-up (4-2-3-1)
McCarthy – Bertrand, Hoedt, Yoshida, Soares – Romeu, Hojbjerg – Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Tadic – Austin.
Chelsea: Team News
David Luiz is out with a knee injury, while Ross Barkley and Davide Zappacosta are major doubts.
There will be some changes in the eleven that drew 1-1 with West Ham last week. But the front three is expected to remain the same.
Chelsea: Predicted Line-up (3-4-2-1)
Courtois – Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta – Alonso, Moses, Fabregas, Kante – Willian, Hazard – Morata.