The Premier League resumes after an eventful International Break as Chelsea welcome high-flying Southampton to Stamford Bridge for a 3 PM Saturday kick-off.
The seventh-placed Blues went into the fortnight on a high after a sizzling 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace that featured a goal on his maiden start from £45million signing Ben Chilwell and a league debut for new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, as well as a brace from Jorginho.
The Saints will be looking to make it three wins from three at a ground where they know how to get the job done, having won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge last season. After a sluggish start to the season, coming up short against Crystal Palace and Tottenham, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side appear to have picked up momentum going into the international break after convincing 1-0 and 2-0 against Burnley and West Bromwich Albion respectively. With Danny Ings picking up where he left off last season and bagging three goals in the first four fixtures, Chelsea’s backline will be put to the test after having received a lot of criticism in the early stages of the campaign.
However, Chelsea hold a pretty strong record against the visitors in the Premier League. The Saints have have emerged victorious only once in their last nine league outings against the Blues. Chelsea have won seven of their last eight home matches, scoring 18 and conceding just four. Surprisingly, though, no team involved in both of the last two Premier League campaigns has conceded fewer home goals than Chelsea since the start of last season, underpinning a good run of form at Stamford Bridge recently.On paper, Chelsea look to be the favourites but this season has already reminded us on more than one occassion that anything, literally anything can happen in this league.
Stuart Armstrong has been ruled out of the tie after testing positive for COVID-19. There could be debuts for deadline day arrivals Theo Walcott and Ibrahima Diallo with the former in line for his second debut for the club due to the absence of Armstrong and injury doubt Moussa Djenepo.
New signing Mohammed Salisu is yet to feature as he recovers from injury and this match will also come too soon for the centre-back. Nathan Redmond could make his first league start of the season.
Southampton Premier League form: LLWW
Southampton form (all competitions): LLLWW