Southampton host Chelsea at St Mary’s on Tuesday night in the English Premier League. The hosts are in very poor form with just two wins in 16 league matches. Chelsea beat Leicester City with ten men last time out. The last time the sides met, The Blues won 6-0 at Saints.
Southampton have played relatively well this season but have just four points from four matches. They lost 4-1 at Tottenham in round 1 before a strong fightback to draw 2-2 against Leeds having trailed 2-0 with less than 30 minutes on the clock. A 2-1 win at Leicester came next as they fought back from a goal down. Their most recent fixture saw a good first half performance but they were beaten 1-0 at home by Man Utd.
Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side ended last term very poor with just one win in the final 12 matches. Only relegated Watford took fewer points during that period. With 15 goals conceded in the final six matches, the backline was extremely leaky and they lost 4-1 at Leicester on the final day.
Southampton Team News
Saints could name an unchanged team from the 1-0 loss at home to Man Utd. Left back Romain Perraud is back from injury but Moussa Djenepo could keep his place as a makeshift left back.
Che Adams is set to lead the line in preference to Sékou Mara. Tino Livramento remains a long-term injury absentee. Ralph Hassenhuttl has been playing a 4-2-3-1 system with striker Adam Armstrong on the left and he could go with that setup again.
A draw would be a superb result for Southampton and one they need after their results so far this season. They will likely take the game to Chelsea as they did against Man Utd with two holding midfielders and four attacking players.
The Blues have seven points from four points this season. They’ve already dropped two points in a 2-2 home draw against Tottenham (after conceding in the 96th minute) as well as dropping three points in a 3-0 loss at Leeds. The other matches have seen a 1-0 win at Everton and a 2-1 home win against Leicester as they played an hour with ten men.
Prior to losing at Leeds, it was just one loss in nine matches on their travels for Chelsea. That run included a 6-0 win at Southampton but also a 1-0 loss at struggling Everton. Chelsea won two and drew two of their final four fixtures of last season.
Chelsea Team News
Thomas Tuchel is without N’Golo Kante and said Mateo Kovacic is not fit enough to start. Conor Gallagher is also absent in the engine room due to suspension. Callum Hudson-Odoi is close to a loan move whilst Ross Barkley was released and Hakim Ziyech could also be set to depart.
Kalidou Koulibaly returns from suspension in the back three and will start. Trevor Chalobah is most likely to make way, unless Thiago Silva needs a rest. The signing of Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana looks close but this match will come too soon for him.
Considering Southampton’s form and Chelsea’s start to this season, nothing less than a victory will suffice. If the scores are level, expect Thomas Tuchel to add more attacking players to the pitch.
Saints will leave space behind their back four so there may be periods where the Blues sit deeper and hit their opponents on the counter attack.
Southampton have won just 2 of their last 16 PL matches
Southampton have lost 6 of their last 8 home PL matches
Saints have conceded 2+ goals in 6 of their last 8 home matches (PL)
Chelsea have won 6 of their last 9 away PL matches
Chelsea have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 6 away matches (PL)
Southampton are struggling and Chelsea needs a win. They won this match 6-0 last season but that was inspired by the departed Timo Werner. This should see a narrow win for the Blues with Tuchel’s side not scoring many goals at the moment.