Chelsea travel to Southampton for their Premier League clash on Tuesday, and the Blues will look to build on the win over Leicester City.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have made a mediocre start to the Premier League campaign by their standards, and they have picked up just seven points from four outings so far. Chelsea managed to bounce back from the humiliating defeat against Leeds United with a vital win over Leicester City, and it remains to be seen whether they can put together a winning run now.

Chelsea are certainly one of the clubs expected to challenge for the Premier League title, and they cannot afford to keep dropping points to inferior teams at this stage of the season. Manager Thomas Tuchel will demand a strong showing from his players here, and it remains to be seen whether the Blues can grind out a vital away win this week.

The Blues managed to pick up a thumping 6-0 win away from home against Southampton in the last meeting, and they will hope for more of the same this time around. Chelsea are unbeaten in five of their last six meetings against the Saints, and they will certainly be the favourites heading into the contest.

Meanwhile, Southampton come into the game on the back of a defeat against Manchester United, and they have picked up just four points from four league matches so far. The home side will be aware of the fact that Chelsea have been vulnerable this season, and they will look to make the most of the visitors’ inconsistencies and punish them here.

On their day, Southampton have the quality to trouble any side and it will be interesting to see if the players can step up and deliver this week. The Hard Tackle now takes a closer look at the encounter, starting with team news.

Team News and Tactics

Southampton

Ralph Hasenhuttl has just one notable injury concern ahead of the clash against Chelsea. The Southampton manager will be bereft of the services of Valentino Livramento due to a long-term knee injury.

Kyle Walker-Peters is expected to start as the right back, with Mohammed Salisu and Armel Bella-Kotchap pairing up at the heart of the Southampton defence. Romain Perraud is likely to operate as the left-back after the experiment with Moussa Djenepo produced mixed results.

James Ward-Prowse and Romeo Lavia are likely to play in a two-man midfield pivot, and Joe Aribo, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Adam Armstrong should feature in the final third just behind central striker Che Adams, who will spearhead the Southampton attack against Chelsea.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Salisu, Bella-Kotchap, Perraud; Ward-Prowse, Lavia; Aribo, Elyououssi, Adam Armstrong; Adams

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Chelsea

Chelsea will be without the talisman midfielder N’Golo Kante because of a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Conor Gallagher misses out after picking up a red card against Leicester City this past weekend. But Thomas Tuchel will be delighted with the return of Kalidou Koulibaly from suspension for this game.

Koulibaly is likely to partner Trevoh Chalobah and Thiago Silva in a back three. Mateo Kovacic returned to action last time out, but he is unlikely to slot into the midfield in the absence of Gallagher. Jorginho is set to partner Ruben Loftus-Cheek at the heart of Chelsea’s midfield.

Meanwhile, summer signing Marc Cucurella is expected to start as the left wing-back, and Reece James should operate as the right-sided wing-back. Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount are expected to operate as the attacking midfielders, just in behind Kai Havertz, who is set to lead the line for Chelsea against Southampton.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Mendy; Chalobah, Koulibaly, Silva; James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Cucurella; Mount, Sterling; Havertz

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Key Stats

  • Chelsea have won six of their last seven away matches against Southampton in all competitions.
  • Chelsea have scored at least two goals in six of their last seven away matches against Southampton in all competitions.
  • Southampton have failed to win nine of their last ten matches (Premier League).
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in five of the last six matches against Southampton in all competitions.
  • Chelsea have conceded six goals in the last three matches across all competitions.

Player to watch

Che Adams

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The Southampton striker is our man to watch for this game. The 26-year-old has been in impressive form in his recent outings and has managed to score four goals in his last three appearances across all competitions.

Adams will be aware of Chelsea’s frailties at the back and will look to expose them defensively. The Saints need him to be firing on all cylinders in order to get a home win here.

Prediction

Southampton 1-2 Chelsea

Chelsea are undoubtedly the better team on paper, and they should be able to grind out all three points. Despite their defensive problems in the last few games, the return of Kalidou Koulibaly should improve them immensely.

Southampton have a poor record against the Blues, and that is likely to continue this week as well. A narrow win for the away side is very much on the cards here. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 victory for Chelsea at St. Mary’s.

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