Chelsea v Southampton Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 30, 2018
Stamford Bridge - Premier League
Chelsea welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, hoping to catch up with the top three in the Premier League table. The Saints' form has improved markedly under Ralph Hasenhuttl, despite a run of tough fixtures.
Chelsea came away with a comfortable 3-0 victory in the reverse fixture earlier this season, and haven't beaten the Blues since October 2015.
Pedro is likely to remain sidelined for the Blues, with the manager keen to keep him fit for an important February. Andreas Christensen may be considered fit to return, handing a rest to David Luiz, whilst Emerson may also feature having put in a number of impressive performances in recent weeks.
Only Ryan Bertrand is absent for Haasenhatl, although the manager may be tempted to rotate the likes of Danny Ings and Mario Lemina given the fixture against Manchester City only three days previously.
Chelsea v Southampton Preview and Predictions
As 2019 get underway, Maurizio Sarri will be hoping that his side have acclimatised well to his style of play. The so called Sarri-ball, based on position, has seen the likes of Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses and Alvaro Morata fall out of favour, with the coach preferring Eden Hazard as a false-nine.
However, despite nearly six months of training the side, Chelsea have looked far from the finished article, and despite the manager's claims of not being interested in the transfer market, he may be tempted to take a look in January. A striker is surely first on his shopping list, with Gonzalo Higuain touted, and there have been rumours of approaches made for Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj.
Regardless, for Tuesday's game, the Blues will go in as favourites, although they will face a widely different side to the one they beat 3-0 only three months ago. Hassenhuttl may not have made many changes in personal, but has already got Southampton looking more convincing both going forward and defensively.
Wins over Arsenal and Huddersfield showed the versatility of the former Leipzig boss, who will be benefitting from the improved form of on-loan striker Danny Ings, who has notched four goals and an assist in his last six matches. The Saints' lack of a goal-scoring threat last season was a significant factor in their poor showing, and they will surely be pushing to make the move permanent.
Tuesday will see Chelsea come up against a well-organised, high-pressing team, with Hassenhutll known as the "alpine Jurgen Klopp", a style that they have struggled against this season. However, if Eden Hazard is able to replicate his recent form, they will be confident of yet another win. It's around 3/10 for a Chelsea victory, 5/1 for the draw and the shock Saints win as big as 11/1.
Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 8/5
Sarri's side have been far from secure at the back, but have been scoring enough to keep them on track.
Over 2.5 goals at 8/15
This fixture tends to be a high scoring affair, and both sides will look to push forward on Tuesday.