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Chelsea vs Southampton Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Chelsea welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night looking to close the gap on the top two.
The Blues currently sit third in the Premier League table but will move to within four points of second-placed Manchester City with a win tonight, and perhaps put themselves back in the title race.
Rafa Benitez side have won five of their last six league games and with the exception of the home defeat to QPR and the Capital One Cup loss to Swansea, the Blues have been at their free-scoring best in recent weeks.
Their defence has also been showing signs of improvement and Chelsea hold the joint best defensive record in the league along with champions City, so it’s going to be a tough ask for the Saints to take anything from the game tonight.
However, the south coast club are heading in the right direction after a four-game unbeaten run has seen them pull clear of the relegation zone by just two points.
Chelseawill be able to call upon the services of captain John Terry after the defender resumed full training after a spell on the sidelines with a knee injury. It’s expected Terry will feature tonight to get some minutes under his belt ahead of Sunday’s clash with Arsenal, it will be up to Benitez to decide whether he starts or comes off the bench as he did at the weekend.
Strikers Demba Ba and Fernando Torres will compete for the striking berth up top but Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel are unavailable after heading off to the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria.
Southampton are expected to be without defender Luke Shaw for the game after the left-back picked up a nasty cut to his leg during Saturday’s win over Aston Villa.
Jose Fonte has returned to training but tonight’s game will come too soon for him while captain Adam Lallana remains out.
Chelsea have a relatively poor home record under Rafa Benitez, winning just two of their six games at the Bridge and Southampton will also take heart from the fact that the Blues have come unstuck in their last two home games against QPR and Swansea. However, if the Chelsea players apply themselves there will only be one winner tonight. Chelsea 2-0 Southampton
What would your line-up be and what’s your score prediction? Get involved in the comments section below.