Southampton vs Chelsea Preview, Team News, Likely Line-ups & Predicted Score
Chelsea travel to the south coast to face Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon. Here’s a preview with team news and predicted score for the game.
Premier League action gets back underway this weekend after the two-week international break and Chelsea travel to the south coast to face Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues head into the game sitting third in the table but with just five points separating third from fifth, Rafa Benitez knows three points are important this weekend to maintain their push for a top-four finish.
However, after back-to-back league wins before the international break, Benitez claims he has now set his sights on overhauling second-place Manchester City – who are now just four points ahead – but in order to do so he must navigate a packed fixture list over the next two weeks.
Following Saturday’s game with Southampton, Chelsea face an FA Cup replay with Manchester United on Monday, the first leg of their Europa League quarter final with Ruban Kazan the following Thursday, while Sunderland come to Stamford Bridge next Sunday rounding off four games in just 8 days for the Blues that will define their season.
The hosts this weekend may not be faced with that kind of schedule but they are equally desperate for points with the Saints just four points off the relegation zone. They have put some daylight between them at the bottom three thanks to picking up four points in their last two games and their impressive home form has seen the south-coasters record 3-1 wins over both Man City and Liverpool already this season.
Southampton have injury doubts over Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Jos Hooiveld for the game. All three will be assessed prior to kick off but are expected to feature.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino must decide whether to start defender Vegard Forrenm, who is yet to make his debut for the club but is back in contention after proving his fitness having started Norway’s 2014 World Cup qualifier against Albania.
Benitez is expected to use the full extent of his squad for the game with Monday’s FA Cup clash in mind. Striker Fernando Torres is likely to start ahead of Demba Ba with the Senegalese hitman expected to be kept in reserve for the United clash.
Defender Gary Cahill and midfielder Ramires both missed their countries games in midweek so are likely to miss out on Saturday with possible returns pencilled in against United.
John Terry has been training well this week and is in line to start alongside David Luiz at the back.
The Saints have a decent home record, especially against the league’s big-boys, but we can see the Blues just having too much for the newly-promoted outfit. Southampton 1-2 Chelsea
What would be your starting eleven and whats your predicted score for the game? Get involved in the comments section below.
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