thumbnail Hello,
Live

Premier League

  • March 30, 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Hampshire
  • Referee: J. Moss
  • • Attendance: 31779
2
FT
1

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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SOUTHAMPTON

Boruc
Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw
Schneiderlin, Cork
Rodriguez, Ramirez, Lallana
Lambert
CHELSEA

Cech
Azpilicueta, Luiz, Terry, Bertrand
Ramires, Lampard
Oscar, Mata, Moses
Torres

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.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Jan 1, 2014 Southampton 0 - Chelsea FC 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Dec 1, 2013 Chelsea FC 3 - Southampton 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Mar 30, 2013 Southampton 2 - Chelsea FC 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Jan 16, 2013 Chelsea FC 2 - Southampton 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
England - FA Cup ‎(FA)‎ Jan 5, 2013 Southampton 1 - Chelsea FC 5
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
31Artur BorucGoalkeeper
2Nathaniel ClyneDefender
3Maya YoshidaDefender
26Jos HooiveldDefender
23Luke ShawDefender
4Morgan SchneiderlinMidfielder
8Steven DavisMidfielder
18Jack CorkDefender
13Jason PuncheonMidfielder
-Rickie LambertStriker
9Jay RodriguezStriker
1Kelvin DavisGoalkeeper
6Jose Rocha FonteDefender
13Daniel FoxDefender
5Vegard ForrenDefender
16James Ward-ProwseMidfielder
21Guilherme Do PradoMidfielder
10G. RamírezMidfielder
1Petr CechGoalkeeper
26John TerryDefender
28César AzpilicuetaDefender
-Ryan BertrandDefender
2Branislav IvanovicDefender
8Frank LampardMidfielder
11OscarMidfielder
12John Obi MikelMidfielder
-Victor MosesMidfielder
21Marko MarinMidfielder
9Fernando TorresStriker
21Ross TurnbullGoalkeeper
3Ashley ColeDefender
23David LuizDefender
7RamiresMidfielder
17Eden HazardMidfielder
30Yossi BenayounMidfielder
9Demba BaStriker
Players to Watch
Jack Cork
Jack Cork
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 18
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The midfielder will, understandably, be eager to impress against the club that he spent 10 years with without making a single first-team appearance. Though Morgan Schneiderlin has stole the limelight with his admittedly impressive performances, his midfield partner has been equally vital in helping the Saints achieve some decent results recently and he will no doubt be just as important if the home side are to prevail in this fixture.
Victor Moses
Victor Moses
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The winger is clearly much fancied by Benitez but has yet to really convince the Chelsea support due to a failure to perform consistently. He has also incurred some criticism from the support (or rather, his manager has by selecting him), perhaps due to the fact he has often been the man to break up the troublesome trio of Oscar, Hazard and Juan Mata. But he will be looking to impress here with Benitez given licene to rotate given the Blues' fixture pile-up.
Prediction
Although the Saints have a good record against the big teams of late, picking up three points here is a tall order indeed, particularly given Chelsea's recent form. Nevertheless, the international break may have halted some of the away side's momentum and Southampton will be hopeful that they can cause an upset, particularly as they are just four points clear of the bottom three. Still, the Blues' potent attacking force should prove too strong for Southampton's susceptible defence and should be enough to cancel out the threat that Rickie Lambert and co. pose down the other end.
Editor's Prediction

From the web