Chelsea vs Southampton: Match Preview

After facing a shock exit from the UEFA Champions League, Chelsea now turn their attention to the only competition they can potentially win, the Premier League, as they host Southampton on Sunday.

TEAM NEWS, INJURY UPDATES AND SUSPENSIONS

Chelsea

Apart from John Obi Mikel, all of the Chelsea players are free and available for selection. Nemanja Matic will play his first league match after being sent off and consequently suspended for pushing Ashley Barnes while playing against Burnley. Costa is expected to lead the line as usual, with Eden Hazard and Willian on the flanks. Fabregas and Matic will operate in central midfield while Oscar is expected to play behind the striker. John Terry and Kurt Zouma may start at the heart aof defense while Ivanovic and Azpilicueta will operate as full backs, although Filipe Luis may be given a chance. Petr Cech may be given a start after Courtois’ European outing.

Southampton

Rodriguez is out with a knee injury with no potential return dates known. Mayuka is a long-term absentee. Pelle’s place may be in jeopardy after just a goal from 14 games. Mane, who scored in the match against Chelsea in the reverse fixture, will start alongside Pelle, with Elia in close support. Victor Wanyama, Schneiderlin and Djuricic will occupy the midfield while Fonte and Alderwield, who had been out with a hamstring injury, will be in central defense. Nathaniel Clyne and former Chelsea player Ryan Bertrand, will play as full backs. Forster will man the posts.

FORM

Chelsea

Chelsea gave a toothless display against 10 men PSG on Wednesday, that saw them go out of the Champions League on away goals. For the first time this season, Chelsea seemed to lose the plot due to the want of attacking intent. Although Chelsea hold a commanding lead of 5 points over second-placed Manchester City, that too with a game in hand, Jose Mourinho will try to be doubly sure that complacency does not set in.

Southampton

Southampton are currently 7th in the league table with 49 points. Although the Saints have not shown the form they had shown in the first half of the season, they are just 4 points away from 4th placed Manchester United. With just one victory and two losses in their last 4 Premier League matches, manager Ronald Koeman will be hoping his team can get things going at the Stamford Bridge, if they are to keep the pressure on the teams above them for a place in Europe next season.

INTERESTING FACTS

– Southampton have beaten Chelsea once in their last 12 meetings.
– Chelsea are the only team in the league this season to have avoided defeat when Southampton have taken the lead.

REVERSE FIXTURE THIS SEASON

Southampton 1-1 Chelsea 28/12/2014

LAST 5 PREMIER LEAGUE MEETINGS

Southampton 1-1 Chelsea 28/12/2014
Southampton 0-3 Chelsea 01/01/2014
Chelsea 3-1 Southampton 01/12/2013
Southampton 2-1 Chelsea 30/03/2013
Chelsea 2-2 Southampton 16/01/2013

PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPS

Chelsea: Courtois (GK), Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry (C), Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Oscar, Hazard, Willian, Costa.

Southampton: Forster (GK), Clyne, Fonte (C), Alderwield, Bertrand, Schneiderlin, Wanyama, Djuricic, Elia, Mane, Pelle.

PREDICTED SCORE

Chelsea 2-0 Southampton

MATCH DETAILS

Date: 15/03/2015
Time: 1330 GMT / 1900 IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Mike Dean

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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt

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