After stringing two wins together under new manager, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton have had something of a setback. On the back of a flat performance in their 2-1 defeat to West Ham, the Saints then got outclassed by the mercurial Man City on the weekend. Hovering just outside the drop zone, Hasenhuttl and his team need to regain momentum, starting with their trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.

In a hard-fought battle at Selhurst Park, Ngolo Kante’s second-half strike proved to be decisive in a 1-0 victory. Picking up four wins in their last five, including a 2-0 win against Manchester City, confidence must be high in South West London. 4th in the table and just four points off second, Sarri must be looking for all three points in the clash against Southampton.

Injury News

The game against his former club might come a little bit too early for captain Ryan Bertrand, who is sidelined with a back injury. After scoring his first goal in professional football against Huddersfield, Michael Obafemi is ruled out with a muscle injury. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will also be watching on after picking up his second red card of the season in the previous match

An injury-hit Chelsea are expected to be without Olivier Giroud who will be assessed on an ankle injury he sustained during their win at Crystal Palace. After sitting out the opportunity to return to his former side last weekend, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is also expected to be unavailable. Cesc Fabregas (neck), Pedro (hamstring) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (hamstring) are all likely to narrowly miss out.

Key Threats

Eden Hazard: It was obvious wasn’t it? On his day one of the best, if not the best player in the Premier League, Eden Hazard will be looking to be the key difference against Southampton. After a turbulent summer where he was strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid, the Belgian captain has knuckled down and been in dazzling form this campaign. With 10 goals and 9 assists, the most in the team, Hazard could be adding to that tally if he’s on song.

Jorginho: Arriving with Maurizio Sarri from Napoli, Jorginho has been instrumental to the blues this season. With the most completed passes in the Premier League this season, Jorginho dictates the tempo and rhythm of the game and allows Chelsea to sustain attacks, building constant pressure on the opposition. If afforded too much room, he can pull the strings in the heart of midfield on Wednesday evening.

Willian: Often proving such a good foil for Eden Hazard, the Brazilian has been integral to Chelsea in recent seasons. Providing width and energy down the flanks, Willian is unselfish in his work for the team. Whilst he may not attract the plaudits Hazard does, Willian is a danger for any side with his great delivery from wide areas and the ability to pop up with a goal.

Willian

Last Five Results Southampton:

Cardiff City 1 – 0 Southampton

Southampton 3 – 2 Arsenal

Huddersfield Town 1 – 3 Southampton

Southampton 1 – 2 West Ham United

Southampton 1 – 3 Manchester City

Last Five Results Chelsea:

Brighton & Hove Albion 1 – 2 Chelsea

Chelsea 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth (League Cup)

Chelsea 0 – 1 Leicester City

Watford 1 – 2 Chelsea

Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Chelsea

Although the Saints are expected to make changes for the trip to Stamford Bridge to bolster the side, I see Chelsea’s superior qualities being the decisive factor. With the abundance of attacking talent Chelsea have at their disposal, I envisage a shaky Saints defence unable to repel the constant flurries of attacks. In a brave effort from the Saints, Chelsea class will ultimately come through.
Prediction: Chelsea 2 – 0 Southampton

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