Saturday, 6 October 2019
Southampton will be hoping to aside their inconsistencies as they host a refreshed Chelsea at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Without a home win since April 2019, Ralph Hasenhuttl faces growing scrutiny after failing to replicate last season’s success that saw him beat the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and Wolves while simultaneously avoiding relegation.
The Saints have suffered back to back defeats to Bournemouth and Tottenham despite having an extra man for most of the game in the latter.
They go into the fixture still searching for their first home win of the season, currently sat 14th on the table with seven points from seven games. They have had much better success on their travels with only one of their points coming at St Mary’s.
The Blues have on the other hand had an awakening following a humiliating opening 4-0 thrashing in the hands of Manchester United.
Their next three league games produced 7 points with the trouble being them conceding far too many goals. In their first six games, only the 1-1 home draw with Chelsea had seen them not concede two goals in a match.
Chelsea’s upturn in form has led to Frank Lampard being nominated for the manager of the month award for September, with the Blues now just one point off the top four behind Arsenal.
Lampard will be looking to make it three consecutive league victories on the road following successful raids at Norwich and Wolves.
They recorded a routine 2-0 win over Brighton last weekend before Tammy Abraham and a wonderful volley from Willian set them on their way as they cruised past stubborn Lille 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Crucial centre-back Cedric Soares is still out with injury meaning Hasenhuttl will be forced to use a back three in defence as opposed to his preferred quartet.
Following his three goals in all competitions in the last 2 games, Danny Ings is expected to lead the Saints’ attack with Che Adams likely to remain on the bench after being goalless after six games following his big money summer arrival.
In terms of injuries, Antonio Rudiger, Ruben Loftus Cheek and Emerson Palmieri remain sidelined and will not play a part against the Saints.
Abraham hopes to increase on his tally of 8 league goals and will relish the fact that Chelsea have won more league games (8) and scored more goals (22) against their Saturday opponents at St Mary’s than has any other top flight team.
If selected, Marcos Alonso will make his 100th league appearance for Chelsea. N’golo Kante is set to make just his second start of the season as he came off unscathed in Lille as he continue his recovery from a hamstring injury.
Head to Head:
The Saints last beat the visitors in 2015 and have failed to score against them in the last three meetings.
Away win with both teams to score