Southampton-Chelsea Betting Preview: Expect Hazard to cause problems at St Mary's

The Belgian playmaker has been in fine form for club and country, and Al Hain-Cole expects him to ensure that there will be no shortage of goals against a shaky defence
After the inconvenience of the international break, Chelsea will be looking to get back down to business when they face Southampton on Saturday.

Despite the bad blood surrounding Rafa Benitez, the Spaniard has led the club back into pole position for automatic Champions League qualification, and catching up with second-placed Manchester City is not an unrealistic target.

With just four points separating The Blues from last year’s champions, a win could move Benitez's men to within a point of City, and they are favourites at 23/20 (2.15) with Bet Victor to claim all three points at St Mary’s.

The Saints are riding high after their 3-1 win over Liverpool, and are on offer at 5/2 (3.50) to pull off another shock by coming out on top against a team that they have not beaten in 12 years.

The hosts came back from two goals down to claim a famous draw at Stamford Bridge back in January, and you can get odds of 13/5 (3.60) on them grabbing s share of the spoils this time.

While Mauricio Pochettino has overseen a couple of impressive victories against Liverpool and Manchester City since replacing Nigel Adkins in January, the former centre-back has so far failed to completely eradicate the defensive shortcomings that have seen them concede among the most goals in the Premier League.

A bet on over 2.5 goals would have paid out in six of Southampton’s last seven  games, as well as each of their last five encounters against Chelsea.

With Benitez’s side boasting a number of irrepressible attacking players, it makes sense to back that market on Saturday, at inviting 3/4 (1.75) odds.

The Blues’ last league game was lit up by the performance of Eden Hazard, who inspired his side to a comfortable 2-0 win over London rivals West Ham.

The playmaker continued his rich vein of form over the international break, scoring in each of Belgium’s two World Cup qualifiers, meaning that he has hit the back of the net in four of his last five games for club and country.

With the wind in his sails, the former Lille man seems to offer excellent value at 27/10 (3.70) to get his name on the scoresheet on Saturday.

Over 2.5 goals at 3/4 (1.75) with Bet Victor
Eden Hazard to score anytime at 27/10 (3.70) with Bet Victor

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.