Match Preview : Southampton v Chelsea

MP - Soton v Chelse

 

Briefing : 

Defending FA Cup champions Chelsea head to England’s south coast on Saturday to face Southampton in third-round action of the FA Cup as one of the most anticipated weekends of the English football calendar year kicks off.

The Saints (4-6-10) are just above the relegation zone in 17th place in the English Premier League, but are a deceptively dangerous team, having drawn three straight matches and having allowed two goals or more in a match only one time in the last two months—a 3-3 draw with Stoke City on Dec. 29. In fact, the last time Southampton lost by two or more goals came Nov. 5 when host West Bromwich Albion shut out the Saints, 2-0 at The Hawthorns. In goal for the hosts should be Poland international and former Celtic keeper Artur Boruc, who returned in the club’s 1-1 New Year’s Day draw with Arsenal in his first appearance since Oct. 28.

Chelsea’s goalkeeper will most likely be backup Ross Turnbull, who will be filling in for Petr Čech who will possibly be out for three weeks with a groin injury. The Blues’ extraordinary goalkeeper may also miss the first leg of the Capital One Cup semifinal versus Swansea City and league games against Stoke City and Arsenal, according to ESPNSoccernet.com. Expect Chelsea to be in a foul mood for this one after seeing its four-game win streak rudely interrupted by 20th-place Queens Park Rangers, 1-0 on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge in a game somewhat characteristic of the European champions’ schizophrenic season. The Blues have won four straight meetings against Southampton—outscoring the Saints 10-2 in the process—with the last scheduled meeting between the two teams on Dec. 15 being postponed due to the Blues’ participation in the Club World Cup and provisionally rescheduled on Jan. 16 at Stamford Bridge. However, Chelsea have never beaten Southampton in the FA Cup. One interesting thing to watch in this one is whether or not Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benítez will choose to use new acquisition Demba Ba, who completed a £7 million move to Stamford Bridge from Newcastle United on Thursday night.

Projected Lineups : 

SOUTHAMPTON

Boruc
Cork, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw
Schneiderlin, Davis
Puncheon, Ward-Prowse, Ramirez

Rodriguez
CHELSEA

Turnbull
Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Bertrand
Luiz, Lampard,
Moses, Oscar, Mata

Torres

Key Stats : 

  1. Southampton have never lost to Chelsea in the FA Cup.
  2. Chelsea haven’t lost to Southampton in the last 6 meetings.
  3. Chelsea have 3 away defeats to Southampton in the FA Cup.
  4. Southampton are unbeaten in their last 3 matches (all draws).
  5. Frank Lampard is 1 goal away from Kerry Dixon for 2nd highest goal scorer in Chelsea history.

Prediction :

Given our struggles against Southampton in this tournament and our recent form combined with their recent form, it should be an interesting match, but nevertheless will end in a 1-1 draw, in my mind. A tough match for us, but a draw isn’t all the bad – it would mean a replay at the Bridge. We’ll see what happens, hopefully Chelsea will win and make it easily on themselves, but I think a 1-1 draw will be the outcome on Saturday.

6 Comments
  1. Zane says

    Chelsea know they can’t afford another extra fixture. Hazard was on the bench on Wednesday and should start this game with Mata who also just had fifteen minutes against QPR. Expect Oscar to warm the bench,unless Benitez opts for a narrow attack. That’s unlikely if Ba plays though. This is the team Benitez might go for. Turnbull,Azpilicueta,Cahill,Ivanovic,Cole,Mikel,Lampard,Moses,Mata,Hazard and Ba. Mikel leaves after the game to join up with his national team so I think Benitez might use this option and give Luiz a deserved rest because He’ll probably have to play the holding role every game until Mikel returns. Remember,Luiz never had a rest since before the Nordsjaelland game which was before the trip to Japan.

  2. robben16 says

    Chelsea should bring down their best starting line-up to ensure victory. When Chelsea already be ahead by 3 goals difference, then bring in players like Ba, Marin, Piazon, Ake, Chalobah or Ferreira.

    1. Ryan says

      Ba is in our best starting lineup, but also torres needs a rest

    2. Gibsta says

      Ba should come on some time in the second half regardless of score line. Torres shouldn’t play the 90 minutes, and I think it’d be good if he comes off around the hour mark for Demba Ba. Torres does need a rest, but I reckon he should start this game and be benched for the next few fixtures as Ba will be a starter for PL matches.

      P.S. Isn’t Chalobah still at Watford?

  3. Inyang Umo says

    Chelsea need a win against sonton to keep thier fa cup title hope alive &to clean that mess which they got themselves into against QPR.

  4. Inyang Umo says

    Up blues,Up chelsea!!!

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