After a stuttering start, big-spending Chelsea kick-started their season with a convincing victory last time out and the west London side will be looking to build on that momentum when they host Southampton this weekend.
Here is all you need to know about Saturday’s clash at Stamford Bridge.
It’s been an indifferent start to the season for Frank Lampard’s side who have taken seven points from their first four fixtures to date, their performances having been unconvincing prior to a comfortable victory over Crystal Palace before the international break.
After labouring past Brighton, the Blues were beaten at home by Liverpool before a calamitous opening half against West Brom saw them needing to fight back from three goals down at the break to snatch an unlikely point.
Critics were quick to question Lampard following the club’s lavish summer spending, but they responded with a much improved performance against Palace, securing a 4-0 victory with summer signing Ben Chilwell impressing on his Premier League debut at left-back.
Chelsea’s hopes will be boosted by the returns of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech this weekend, though both Chilwell and goalkeeper Edouard Mendy could miss out after picking up injuries on international duty.
It will take time for an expensively assembled side to take shape and gel this season, though Lampard will be hoping to continue the club’s momentum with another three points this weekend, Chelsea having won eight of their past nine home fixtures.
Back-to-back wins have lifted spirits at Southampton after consecutive losses to open the season, Ralph Hasenhuttl hoping his side can build on a strong finish to the previous campaign and climb the division this term.
Danny Ings has picked up from where he left last season after finishing as runner-up for the division’s Golden Boot, scoring three times in four fixtures so far and netting his first goal for England during the international break against Wales.
Southampton could hand a debut to summer signing Mohammad Salisu who is yet to feature since his move from Real Valladolid, whilst Theo Walcott could be in line to feature after signing on a season-long loan deal from Everton, the winger returning to St Mary’s 14 years after first leaving the club.
Stuart Armstrong is set to miss the clash, however, after the midfielder contracted Covid-19 whilst on international duty with Scotland.
Chelsea 0-2 Southampton, 26th December 2019
Southampton continued their renaissance and secured a vital three points after stunning Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, earning their second successive win to move clear of the relegation places.
Michael Obafemi opened the scoring with a superb left-footed finish into the top corner, before Nathan Redmond made sure of the result by tapping home following a fine passing move from the visitors, who could have scored more after missing a succession of chances.
Southampton’s win made it consecutive home defeats for Chelsea for the first time in eight years, adding the pressure on Frank Lampard following an indifferent festive run for his side, the west Londoners having lost five of their previous seven league fixtures.
Predicted Line ups
Chelsea: Caballero; James, Zouma, Silva, Azpilicueta; Jorginho, Kante, Mount; Havertz, Pulisic, Werner
Southampton: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo; Adams, Ings
Who is the referee?
How can I watch?
UK and Irish readers can watch the game on BT Sports Box Office, whilst US supporters can view the fixture on NBCSN.
What time is kick off?
October 17 2020, 15:00 BST.
Chelsea – 9/20
Draw – 15/4
Southampton – 11/2