Best Odds: 7/10
Looking to build off of their recent resurge, Chelsea will be smelling a golden chance when they make the trip to a struggling Southampton on Saturday lunchtime.
Starting with the hosts, while Southampton might have managed to pick up a much-needed boost while on FA Cup duties last week, the Saints came immediately crashing back down to earth. Watching Wolves pick up their revenge on the South Coast last weekend, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men threw away the lead in a worrying fashion. Eventually hit with a 2-1 defeat against the Oranges, the former RB Leipzig boss finds his side in the midst of a real Premier League nightmare. Freefalling down the table and with their European ambitions taking what appears to be a critical blow, Southampton have remarkably failed to win any of their last six straight top-flight matchups. In fact, including that woeful 9-0 drumming at Old Trafford when opening February, Saturday’s hosts have lost six appearances on the bounce for the first time in the club’s history. With the mood in their camp at a season-low, Hasenhüttl’s side should on paper face another stern test at St. Mary’s this weekend.
Despite only just making his return, Kyle Walker-Peters has picked up another knock and faces at least three weeks on the sidelines.
The former Tottenham defender will join both Ibrahima Diallo and Theo Walcott on Southampton’s injury list.
As for the visitors, while Southampton might find themselves in the midst of a real Premier League nightmare, Chelsea have really started to impress since bringing in new boss Thomas Tuchel. With a Champions League knockout tie against Atletico Madrid fast approaching, the former PSG boss saw his side put in another professional display on Monday night. Eventually cruising their way to a 2-0 victory against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge, the Blues now appear in pole position to secure another top-four finish this season. Along with managing to book their spot in the quarter-final of this year’s FA Cup away at Championship outfit Barnsley last week, Tuchel finds his side enjoying a very impressive five-match winning run across all formats. Unbeaten since taking over in West London, Chelsea have also made a string of improvements at the back. Recording another clean sheet against Newcastle last weekend, Saturday’s guests have conceded just a single goal in any of their last six appearances.
After picking up an ankle injury against Newcastle, Tammy Abraham will miss out at St. Mary’s this weekend.
Despite both making a return to training, neither Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz are expected to feature on Saturday lunchtime.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two sides faced off at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea played out a dramatic 3-3 draw.
- Chelsea have won each of their last five straight matchups across all formats.
- More impressive, the Blues have conceded just a single goal since Thomas Tuchel took charge last month.
- Southampton have lost six Premier League matchups on the bounce for the first time in the club’s history.
- Saturday’s hosts have also managed to win just one of their last six straight Premier League matchups at St. Mary’s.
Picking up a 2-0 win against Newcastle on Monday night, Chelsea have really impressed since bringing in new boss Thomas Tuchel last month. Planning for a Champions League showdown against Atletico Madrid next week, the former PSG boss finds his side enjoying a five-match winning run across all formats. With the mood in their camp at a real high, the Blues should be smelling a golden chance against the Premier League strugglers. Suffering a 2-1 defeat against Wolves on home soil last weekend and losing six consecutive top-flight matchups for the first time in the club’s history, the Saints are in the midst of a real South Coast nightmare. With just a single win on home soil to their name since the middle of December, we’re backing a Chelsea win on Saturday lunchtime.
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 7/10
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