Southampton - Chelsea Preview: Blues face Saints as fixtures pile up
Rafael Benitez's men take on the Premier League strugglers in their first of four games in a week, with the Spaniard looking to rotate ahead of facing Manchester United on Monday
By Sam Wells
Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw
Rodriguez, Ramirez, Lallana
Azpilicueta, Luiz, Terry, Bertrand
Oscar, Mata, Moses
Mauricio Pochettino looks set to name a largely unchanged side from the one that claimed an unexpected scalp against Liverpool prior to the international break.
The only change for the Saints is likely to be in central defence, with Jose Fonte primed to replace Jos Hooiveld at the back after the latter picked up a knock in the 3-1 win over the Reds.
Other than that solitary change, Southampton will persist with the line-up that featured last time out, with Jason Puncheon likely to be omitted once more as Jay Rodriguez looks set to retain his starting berth.
With Chelsea having to play four times in the space of a week, Rafael Benitez may choose to name a rotated side as he looks ahead to the FA Cup replay against Manchester United on Monday.
That could mean a rare start for John Terry at the back, particularly with Gary Cahill struggling for fitness after being ruled out of international duty with a knee injury in midweek.
Eden Hazard, Ashley Cole and Demba Ba are also likely to be rotated from the side that beat West Ham 2-0 two weeks ago as Oscar, Ryan Bertrand and Fernando Torres could be afforded starts.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Southampton have not beaten Chelsea in over 10 years; they last won on New Years' Day 2002, beating the Blues 4-2 thanks to a double from James Beattie and goals from Marian Pahars and Chris Marsden.
The Saints have dropped more points from leading positions than any other Premier League team this season - 27 in total.
- Despite his continued omission from the England national team, Rickie Lambert (pictured right) is the highest scoring Englishman in the Premier League this season, having netted 13 times - the next closest (joint with Wayne Rooney) is on the opposing team: Frank Lampard with 12 goals.
Southampton have scored more own goals than anyone else in the Premier League this season, having put five in the wrong net.
Demba Ba, though potentially on the bench here, has been in fine form for Chelsea against Southampton in all competitions, having netted three goals from four shots on target this season.
- Juan Mata has also been in fine fettle, albeit more generally, and he recently became the first Premier League player to score 10 goals and provide 10 assists.
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Top 3 Predictions
Southampton 1-3 Chelsea FC
- 21.25 %
Southampton 0-3 Chelsea FC
- 15.16 %
Southampton 0-2 Chelsea FC
- 11.43 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 1, 2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Southampton 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 30, 2013||Southampton 2 - Chelsea FC 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 16, 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Southampton 2|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||Jan 5, 2013||Southampton 1 - Chelsea FC 5|
|Dec 14, 2013||Newcastle 1 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Southampton 1 - Manchester City FC 1||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Southampton 2 - Aston Villa 3||EPL|
|Dec 1, 2013||Chelsea FC 3 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Arsenal 2 - Southampton 0||EPL|
|6||Jose Rocha Fonte||Defender|
|21||Guilherme Do Prado||Midfielder|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|