This weekend’s Premier League action commences at St Marys as Southampton welcome Chelsea for a critical match at both ends of table.
Southampton can move out of the relegation zone for a few hours with victory as Crystal Palace face Brighton & Hove Albion in one of the 3pm games.
Chelsea’s top four hopes are fading rapidly as they sit ten points behind Tottenham Hotspur.
Defeat here will all but end their Champions League hopes and instead condemn them to Thursday Night Football next season in Europa League.
Southampton are without Jack Stephens who starts a three match ban after being sent off at Arsenal last weekend.
Mario Lemina could therefore come in after recovering from illness.
Stephen Davis (knock), Shane Long (ankle) and Sam McQueen (groin) are all sidelined with no return date announced.
Chelsea’s David Luiz remains out for another week with an ankle injury.
Davide Zappacosta could return here after overcoming a muscular injury.
Midfielder, Ross Barkley is lacking match fitness so is a doubt.
Youngster, Ethan Ampadu is ruled out with a broken ankle.
Southampton come here on a six match winless league run, picking up two draws and a spot in FA Cup semi finals along that run.
In last three games alone, Southampton have conceded three goals with all coming away and managed to score twice themselves last time out.
Home wise, the Saints have drawn three and lost two of their five home games in 2018.
Chelsea’s form however is alarming with just three league wins in 2018, just one of those coming away from Stamford Bridge.
Since end of January, the Blues have just picked up seven points with them all coming at home.
- Since a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in October 2015, Southampton have lost last four meetings.
- From 18 Premier League home games against Chelsea, the Saints have won just five, drawn three and lost ten.
- Southampton failed to score in two of last three home meetings with Chelsea.
- Across the last five meetings, this fixture has seen eight goals before and after half time.
- Eden Hazard has scored opening goal within ten minutes in two of last three clashes in this fixture.
Where game can be won or lost?
|Per Game Average||Southampton (home)||Chelsea (away)|
|Shots on Target||3.81||4.87|
|Goals per First Half %||43.8||50|
|Goals per Second Half %||56.2||50|
This match looks like it could be very interesting because both teams are equally matched in fouls and shots.
Chelsea are however more clinical in front of goal across both halves despite having a slightly worse discipline record.
In summary, this will be a wide open and competitive game with the winner too close to call.
Both teams are currently in dire form but Southampton will be buoyant by their performance at Arsenal.
I reckon this will be a this draw but if there’s a winner, for me it’s going to be a Southampton win.
Prediction: Southampton 1-1 Chelsea
Jake predicts: Southampton 0-2 Chelsea
Result: Southampton 2-3 Chelsea
Here at Sport Grill, me and Middlesbrough FC writer, Jake Self are going head to head predicting this season’s Premier League games.
This is how things stand after the previous round of games along with the rules.
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points