Chelsea will play Southampton on Saturday afternoon at the Stamford Bridge. This will be the first Premier League round of fixtures after the International football break. We are also at the round 5 of the current 2020/21 season.
Frank Lampard will be hoping to build on their 4-0 thumping of Crystal Palace before the international break. That result remains the only convincing win they have managed this season.
Chelsea did a massive rebuilding ahead of this season adding exciting talents as Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, and goalkeeper Mendy to their ranks. Their transfer business exceeded over 200 million pounds.
However, they started the season unconvincingly winning 3-2 at Brighton. They will go on to lose to Liverpool and drew 3-3 to Premier newcomers, West Brom. They also crashed out of Carabao Cup to second string Tottenham side on penalties.
Lampard is already under a bit of pressure after such expensive signings but slow start to the season. He insisted that the lack of pre-season time, player injuries and adaptation of the new players to the league has been crucial to this.
Chelsea team news
Chelsea will welcome back Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic. Moroccan playmaker, Ziyech is yet to play for Chelsea since signing from Ajax due to a knee injury. So is the new number 10, Christian Pulisic, who is fast becoming the best player.
However new goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, and Thiago Silva will return. Mendy has a minor injury while Thiago Silva due to the stress of traveling during Brazil World Cup Qualifiers. Ben Chilwell is also back in the squad.
Lampard do have a fully fit squad to select from. He will have a very serious selection headache with the array of attacking talents in his disposal.
We expect him to field his favored 4-3-3 formation. Lampard refused to assure whether Kepa or Caballero will start. Kurt Zouma is expected to partner Christensen or Tomori, with Chilwell and Reece, or Azpilcueta completing the defense set up. Kante may start if he shakes off the injury he picked during the break with France. If not, Jorginho and Kovacic will be expected to anchor the midfield.
It is in the attack that the coach will have decide. Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Tammy Abraham are all fighting for their place in the attack. It will be interesting to see the players Lampard decide to start.
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s team won two games in a row before the International break. The Saints will be without midfileder, Stuart Armstrong and winger, Moussa Djenepo. Theo Walcott, a loan signing from Everton will likely feature.
Southampton plays mostly 4-4-2 formation with Che Adams and Danny Ings leading the line. Chelsea will be wary of Ings. He has started all their league matches scoring 3 of their 5 goals this season.
Southampton has won 8 of their 13 away Premier league games since 21 December. Last season, they showed they can mix it up with big teams winning Chelsea, Manchester City and Leicester.
Chelsea vs Southampton Verdict
Chelsea is currently 7th on the table with only one point ahead of Southampton. Chelsea has won Southampton 8 of their nine previous meetings before the loss on their December meeting.
Southampton will be hoping to upset Chelsea. The last time they met in the Premier on Boxing Day last year, late goals from Nathan Redmond and Obafemi condemned the Blues to a 2-0 loss. They will be hoping to win again in the Stamford Bridge.
However, we expect the rejuvenated and motivated Chelsea team to win. Lampard new boys will be hoping to impress the manager. With competition for places high, the onus is on the players to perform.