Chelsea - Southampton Preview: Blues aim to maintain winning streak against Saints
After a 5-1 win for the holders against Nigel Adkins' side in the FA Cup, the stage is set for a rematch at Stamford Bridge just 11 days after the demolition at St Mary's
By Tom McKeown
Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole
Hazard, Mata, Bertrand
Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fox
Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Ramirez
John Terry is set for a return to the Chelsea starting line-up after spending two months on the sidelines with a knee injury, while Demba Ba is likely to keep his place up front ahead of Fernando Torres.
Yossi Benayoun and Oriel Romeu (both knee) are Rafael Benitez’s only casualties so Terry’s return looks likely to be the only change from the 4-0 win at Stoke, with Torres remaining on the bench.
Nigel Adkins is likely to name the same line-up as Saturday’s win at Aston Villa with the exception of Luke Shaw, who suffered a nasty gash on his right knee in Saints’ 1-0 win, meaning Danny Fox is set to deputise for the 17-year-old.
Jose Fonte (knee) was stretchered off in the 5-1 FA Cup defeat to the Blues and is still out, meaning Jos Hooiveld keeps his place alongside Maya Yoshida, while Adam Lallana (knee) also remains sidelined.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea’s 5-1 FA Cup win over Southampton was the Blues' biggest ever win over Saints.
- The Stamford Bridge side have won their last five matches against Southampton in all competitions; their last defeat to Saints coming at home on New Year’s Day 2002.
- The Blues have beaten the south coast side 20 times at home, with 12 draws and 12 victories for the visitors.
- Frank Lampard (pictured right) notched his 194th Chelsea goal in the 4-0 win at Stoke, moving him ahead of Blues legend Kerry Dixon to second on Chelsea’s all-time top scorer list.
- Nigel Adkins’ side have taken 17 points out of a possible 33, losing only two of their last 11 Premier League games.
- Rickie Lambert’s penalty against Aston Villa – his ninth Premier League goal of the season – maintained his 100 per cent record from the spot, with 29 spot-kicks scored out of 29.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-0 Southampton
- 13.18 %
Chelsea FC 3-1 Southampton
- 10.78 %
Chelsea FC 4-0 Southampton
- 9.56 %
|Premier League (EPL)||30 Mar 2013||Southampton 2 - Chelsea FC 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||16 Jan 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Southampton 2|
|FA Cup (FA)||5 Jan 2013||Southampton 1 - Chelsea FC 5|
|25 May 2013||Manchester City 5 - Chelsea FC 3||FR|
|24 May 2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Manchester City 4||FR|
|19 May 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Everton 1||EPL|
|15 May 2013||Benfica 1 - Chelsea FC 2||EL|
|11 May 2013||Aston Villa 1 - Chelsea FC 2||EPL|
|21||Guilherme Do Prado||Midfielder|
The Belgium international has enjoyed a fine introduction to the Premier League, and his strike in the 4-0 win at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday was nothing short of world-class. With Juan Mata stealing the headlines for the Blues this season, Hazard has played a supporting role, but will be keen to use the remainder of the season to make his mark on Chelsea’s title push.
The 26-year-old has been in resurgent form for Nigel Adkins’ side this season, and is a constant attacking threat from the wing. Southampton’s style of play has always been positive, regardless of the opposition, and Adkins will be looking to his wide men to cause problems for the Blues defence, with Ashley Cole set to have his work cut out against the former QPR and Blackpool man.
January has been a mixed bag for the Blues, with defeats at home to QPR in the Premier League and Swansea in the Capital One Cup but an emphatic win over Stoke at the weekend and, perhaps most importantly, a 5-1 demolition of Southampton in the FA Cup. That result could affect Saints, who will struggle to extend their four-match unbeaten run.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed