Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs Southampton
Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday March 15 – 13:30 GMT (9:30 ET)
Match Odds: Chelsea 4/7 – Draw 14/5 – Southampton 5/1
The reverse fixture, which was a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s in December, will leave both sides thinking that this is winnable. Chelsea are however, undefeated in their last fourteen Premier League fixtures at Stamford Bridge and the league leaders are undoubtedly favourites as a result.
Both sides will see this as a must win. Chelsea will want to get back on track in the league having dramatically being eliminated from the Champions League in midweek, after being knocked out on away goals to PSG.Embed from Getty Images
The disappointment of their European exit leaves the Premier League as their sole focus and if they do not end up as champions, there will be no hiding place for Jose Mourinho, especially as they hold a five point lead with a game in hand.
Chelsea’s home record in the Premier League: P13 – W11 – D2 – L0
Southampton need something out of this game if they are to stay in the hunt for a top four spot this season, having only secured four points from as many games recently.
They have only won one of their last twelve meetings with Chelsea in all competitions – a 2-1 win in March 2013, so this will be a real challenge.Embed from Getty Images
The midfield battle between Morgan Schneiderlin and Nemanja Matic could be key. Schneiderlin saw red in the reverse fixture and he will be up against arguably the best defensive midfielder in the league, Nemanja Matic. Whoever wins that battle will likely be on the winning team.
Southampton’s away record in the Premier League: P13 – W7 – D1 – L5
All eyes will be on this fixture on Sunday and we hope it delivers. However, we’re not expecting many goals, as they are both excellent defensively.
Chelsea: John Obi Mikel is the only injury concern for the hosts and he is expected back in April following a knee injury. Willian could be demoted to the bench for Juan Cuadrado and Filipe Luis could start at left-back, deputising for Cesar Azpilicueta.
Southampton: Emmanuel Mayuka (groin) and Jay Rodriguez (knee) are still out so won’t feature. Toby Alderweireld could start after making it onto the bench last time out.
Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: D/W/W/D/W
Southampton’s last five in the Premier League: W/D/L/L/W
Key Stat: Southampton have only beaten Chelsea twice at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League. The last time was New Year’s Day in 2002 as the Saints ran out 4-2 winners.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Eden Hazard – Chelsea’s best attacking option is the Belgian winger. And with ten goals and six assists this season he has been a great asset. He will need to be on top form to unlock a very good Saints defence on Sunday.
Chelsea 1 – 0 Southampton – This one should be tight as neither can really afford to lose. Chelsea will be devastated by their Champions League exit but should bounce back with a narrow victory against the Saints.