Chelsea v Southampton Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
December 14, 2017
Stamford Bridge - Premier League
Chelsea and Southampton both come into this game on the back of very contrasting results in the midweek round of Premier League fixtures. The Blues comfortably beat Huddersfield away from home, while the Saints took a heavy beating at the hands of Leicester at St Mary’s.
Chelsea have won their last three against Southampton, with this fixture ending 4-2 to the Blues last season. The Saints have beaten Chelsea twice since returning to the Premier League in 2012 though, including a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in the dying embers of Jose Mourinho’s reign the season before last.
After sitting out their game on Tuesday with a back problem, Alvaro Morata could return to the side for this one. Eden Hazard started as a false nine in the Spanish striker’s absence, which is a tactic Antonio Conte could use again if Morata doesn’t make it. David Luiz is the only other player on the sidelines for Chelsea as he recovers from a reported knee problem.
Cedric Soares returned from injury for Southampton on Wednesday, and came through the 90 minutes unscathed. This means that manager Mauricio Pellegrino has a fully fit squad to choose from for the trip to Stamford Bridge, with no injury concerns or suspensions to deal with. Charlie Austin is expected to lead the line and he’ll be a threat to the Chelsea defence.
Chelsea v Southampton Preview and Predictions
It’s fair to say that Chelsea’s title defence hasn’t gone how the club had hoped and expected, with their challenge surely over well before Christmas. As the Blues look to consolidate their place in the top four and secure Champions League football for next season, it’s hard to see Southampton having much of a chance in this one though.
Conte’s side were ruthlessly efficient in the driving Yorkshire rain against Huddersfield, at a ground where Manchester United recently tasted defeat. If Morata is fit to play, the manager will likely drop either Pedro or Willian to the bench, a tough decision after both found the net at the John Smith’s Stadium. Whoever gets the nod, the Blues start as heavy favourites in the betting against Southampton at 3/8.
Saints boss Pellegrini will be looking a reaction from his players after his side was dismantled by Leicester in midweek. The travelling fans will hope that their team’s form at Stamford Bridge since their return to the Premier League can inspire some confidence going into this encounter. They’ve only suffered defeat on two of their five trips to Chelsea, and they’re priced at 9/1 for the win this time round. A draw would be a more realistic bet if you fancy an upset, which is available at 4/1.
Chelsea to win and both teams to score at 11/5
The Blues haven’t kept a clean sheet in four games, and in Austin Southampton have an in-form striker hungry for goals.
Morata to score first and Chelsea to win 3-1 at 28/1
Back the striker to return to the Chelsea side with a goal as the hosts continue to hunt down second placed Manchester United.