Premier League giants Chelsea will be looking to pick up two wins on the trot for the first time in the league this season when they welcome Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The London club’s last outing was a comfortable 4-0 win against Crystal Palace – a game in which the midfield battle was won by Lampard’s men. Southampton also ran out winners in their last league clash against West Brom, after goals from Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu ensured that they took home all three points as well.
Chelsea have had an extremely positive week in terms of injury updates, as a number of players who have been on the sidelines for a while now are all expected to return. Christian Pulisic came on as a substitute against Palace, and is likely to return to the eleven. Another player who is expected to come into the side is Hakim Ziyech, who is set to make his debut for the Blues. Apart from that, Ben Chilwell could also be fit enough to start, but Edouard Mendy is one player that remains a doubt.
Predicted XI: Kepa; Azpilicueta, Zouma, Silva, Chilwell; Jorginho, Kante, Ziyech, Havertz, Pulisic; Werner
Mohamed Salisu and Moussa Djenepo are the two players who have been completely ruled out from this tie, as they are both being treated for different injuries. Considering that no return date has been delivered yet, expecting them to play any part in this match would be silly. Stuart Armstrong is another major miss for Hasenhuttl’s side, after the attacker tested positive for Coronavirus during his recent stint with the national side
Predicted XI: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Tella, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Redmond; Ings Adams
Here Is The Chelsea Vs Southampton Tactical Preview:
Chelsea Vs Southampton Tactical Preview
The Blues will be expected to control the possession of the tie right from the off, especially considering that the match is being played at an empty Stamford Bridge. Jorginho will likely be the man who gets the most touches on the ball, and the likes of Pulisic and Ziyech are sure to provide ample width as well. Timo Werner has the ability to make rapid runs in behind, and that could well be their biggest attacking threat. Moreover, the German’s link-up play with national teammate Kai Havertz will be of utmost importance too.
Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side are not going to have it easy against this new-look Chelsea team, especially considering that the entire attack they faced last season has now changed. This means that the Saints could be forced to use the pace of Nathan Redmond and counter-attack against the Blues. With the defensive fragility that Chelsea have shown in the past, Danny Ings will surely have space to run in behind, and if they’re able to find the right avenues to exploit, then there’s every chance they can come out of this tie as the victors.
Despite the various summer signings, expect American speedster Christian Pulisic to be the most important piece of the Chelsea puzzle. His ability to get past defenders with ease and make the right decision in the final third could be the catalyst that brings the best out of the new arrivals.
Even with some key players missing from the first-team picture, Nathan Redmond is sure to have a massive part to play in this tie. As good as Danny Ings has been, the one thing this Chelsea defence tends to be weak against is raw pace, and that is something that Nathan Redmond boasts in massive abundance.