Chelsea welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge in a huge clash as both teams look to kick-on after clinching wins just before the international break.
Depending on results in the Merseyside derby, Chelsea could go as high as second for at least a few hours with victory, whereas Southampton look to climb to fifth if they take all three points in West London and Liverpool lose at Everton earlier in the day.
Ben Chilwell is a doubt for Chelsea with a foot injury which saw him withdraw from the England squad in midweek to complete a disastrous international window for the left-back, who missed their first two matches through suspension and illness respectively.
Edouard Mendy (thigh) and N’Golo Kante (muscle) are also doubts but Billy Gilmour remains absent with a knee injury.
Southampton will be without Stuart Armstrong after the Scotland midfielder missed the Tartan Army’s international matches following a positive Coronavirus test, forcing him to self-isolate.
Moussa Djenepo (hamstring) is a doubt but Mohammed Salisu (fitness) is still ruled out and yet to make an appearance for the Saints.
- Chelsea are unbeaten in eight of last nine league meetings against Southampton (W7, D1, L1).
- Southampton have taken eight points out of a possible 18 from their last six league trips to Stamford Bridge (W2, D2, L2)
- Chelsea are yet to receive a penalty against Southampton after 42 Premier League meetings
- Only three Chelsea players have made more than one substitute league appearance this season (Cesar Azerpilicueta, Ross Barkley and Callum Hudson-Odoi)
- Southampton’s Danny Ings has converted six of his eight shots onto target in four appearances.
Chelsea come into this match off the back of a strong performance against Crystal Palace a fortnight ago in which they struggled to find that breakthrough in the first-half, before producing a dominant second-half display and it could be more of same again here.
Southampton however will pose tougher opposition especially given that they managed to win here last season but they are still defensively vulnerable as already been exposed several times this season, despite possessing excellent attacking quality which was evident in their win over West Brom.
I am however backing Chelsea to win this if they can soak up the Saints’ pressure and make their superior attacking talent count, although Chilwell’s influence could be a huge loss if he doesn’t feature after his role in their last home win.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton
Result: Chelsea 3-3 Southampton