Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard, has asked for time for his new recruits to gel and will be hoping today’s match at the Bridge will be the beginning of the kind of football he wants to see them play.
The Blues aren’t playing near how they wanted after the stupendous business they did in the summer transfer window as Frank Lampard is still figuring out how to inculcate the new arrivals into the starting eleven while also maintaining the balance of the team. He will now have his real test in terms of man-management.
Chelsea have suffered losses against Liverpool in the league this season and barely got a point against West Brom but have won two games as well by a wide margin but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
Southampton, on the other hand, have had a mixed bag of results themselves but have started to find their gear, with back-to-back wins and clean sheets to show in the Premier League.
Ralph Hasenhuttl only managed to replace the departures during the transfer window but ideally, he would have loved to have had a better transfer window than that.
Notwithstanding, the Saints on their day are as good as the best of teams.
Southampton’s last visit to the Stamford Bridge yielded 3 points for them, with Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond scoring against Chelsea.
Chelsea’s team news
Frank Lampard said Hakim Ziyech will be included in the squad to face Southampton for the first time and could be set to make his debut.
The former Ajax winger has fully recovered from a knee injury and is in contention to feature. Ben Chilwell and Christian Pulisic also set to feature.
Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva won’t be available for Saturday’s match as the goalkeeper is out injured while the Brazilian will not play a part following return from international duty later than ideal.
“Mendy won’t be fit for this game but we hope he won’t be out for too long,” says Lampard at his pre-match press conference after his new signing picked up a thigh injury during his time away with Senegal.
Lampard didn’t confirm which one of Kepa Arrizabalaga or Willy Caballero will replace Mendy for Saturday’s clash.
Southampton team news
Stuart Armstrong has been ruled out for Southampton’s away trip to the Stamford Bridge after testing positive for coronavirus, which should hand Theo Walcott a second debut for the club after joining on loan from Everton.
Fellow new signing Mohammed Salisu is yet to feature as he recovers from injury and is still “one or two weeks” away, according to Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Stats and facts heading into the match (Backed by Opta)
- Chelsea have won seven of their last nine Premier League meetings with Southampton (D1 L1), though they did lose this exact fixture 0-2 last season.
- Following their 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge last season, Southampton are looking to pick up back-to-back away league victories against Chelsea for the first time since March 1985.
- Chelsea have won seven of their last eight Premier League home games (L1), netting 18 goals, conceding four and keeping five clean sheets in that run.
- Southampton have faced just over seven shots per Premier League game so far this season (29 in four games), fewer than any other side in 2020-21. However, only West Ham (1.8) have faced fewer shots on target per game so far this term than Chelsea (3).
- Jorginho has netted three goals in his three Premier League games for Chelsea this season (all from the penalty spot), just one fewer than he scored in 31 appearances last term.
- Edouard Mendy kept a clean sheet on his Premier League debut for Chelsea against Crystal Palace last time out – the last keeper to keep a clean sheet on their first two league starts for the Blues was Petr Cech in August 2004.
Chelsea have been painfully struggling so far this season despite dolling out hundreds of millions of pounds to recruit but they are at home today and should prove a very difficult encounter for Soton.
Verdict: Chelsea 3-1 Southampton