John Terry has scored in two of the last three games against Southampton. Image courtesy of chelseafc.com
After toppling Liverpool 2-1 at the weekend, Chelsea finds itself in third place and in hot pursuit of both Manchester City and Arsenal. The Blues won’t be challenging for the premiership unless they fix up their away form, though, and they can start with a win over Southampton on Wednesday morning (AEST). The Saints were amongst the top handful of teams after the first couple of months of the season, but have dropped to ninth now after winning just one of their last eight.
Chelsea took a very defensive approach away to the Gunners a week back and not surprisingly, the game finished a lifeless 0-0 draw. Jose Mourinho’s side took a similar approach at Old Trafford against Manchester United earlier this season and suffocated the Red Devils in a similar way. The west London team has won just three games on the road this campaign, but all have come against bottom six sides; Norwich City, West Ham and Sunderland. Losses away to Newcastle United, Everton and Stoke City don’t exactly inspire confidence in this team when they leave the confines of Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea will make the trip to the south coast without some frontliners in the form of Frank Lampard (muscular injury), Branislav Ivanovic (knee) and Marco van Ginkel (knee). David Luiz is suspended although Ramires returns after a one-game ban.
Southampton has had a tough six-week period with losses away to Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton. The Saints did take the lead at the Bridge through Jay Rodriguez after just 15 seconds, but the home side ran out a comfortable 3-1 winner. They did manage a 1-1 draw with another noted poor traveller, Manchester City, when they visited St Mary’s, while also coming away with a point from a trip to St James’s Park against Newcastle in mid-December.
Mauricio Pochettino will be without ‘keeper Artur Boruc (hand), Victor Wanyama (fractured leg) and Guly do Prado (knee), while Pablo Daniel Osvaldo is ill and will be monitored prior to kick-off. Southampton managed to steal the corresponding match last season at home 2-1 . The Saints have scored in their last seven starts while Chelsea scored nine goals in its three away games prior to the stalemate at the Emirates.
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