Only two points separate these sides going into Sunday’s game, and what a game it will be. Both clubs are coming off of loses, Chelsea to Basel in the Champions League and Southampton to Arsenal last weekend.
Jose Mourinho must get his lineup perfect for this game if he hopes to stay in the title race, especially as Arsenal pull away at the top.
Southampton is a team that plays very good defense, conceding only seven goals so far this season. They can be very creative going forward and will look to Adam Lallana as their bridge from midfield into the final third.
Their midfield is anchored by Morgan Schneiderlin, who provides the passing, and Victor Wanyama, who provides the steel. The Saints will see fantastic defender Dejan Lovren return from injury and will probably line up in central defense.
Chelsea has the edge in attack, scoring more goals and creating more chances than the Saints. Fernando Torres will be back for the Blues and will most likely get the start over Demba Ba.
Other than at forward, the lineup probably won’t change much from the eleven that secured three points at West Ham last weekend. Oscar and Eden Hazard will be the key creators in midfield, as well as the Blues’ best goal threats. Cesar Azpilicueta has played great at left-back and should continue to start there for the time being.
Fans of both teams will be looking to see if Juan Mata gets the start for Chelsea. His continuous absence has been the key talking point of the season for Chelsea faithful, and his inclusion – or lack thereof – in this game could make it clear where he fits into Jose Mourinho’s plans.
Both teams come into the game with 54-percent possession, and it will be interesting to see if Chelsea tries to keep possession or play the counter, as they often do.
This looks to be a great game but history is against Southampton as Jose Mourinho is still undefeated at home. That doesn’t look like it will change on Sunday.