The Premier League is back this weekend after a long international break.
Chelsea were quite lucky in the grand scheme of things, it looks like they have only lost out on Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva from the stint.
Mendy has a small injury, and Silva won’t play after having 90 minutes later in the week for Brazil.
However, we have to be thankful, as with our luck with injuries recently it could have been a lot worse.
Ben Chilwell, Christian Pulisic, and Hakim Ziyech are all in the squad, and N’Golo Kante trained yesterday as well which is positive signs.
Frank Lampard will be hoping his new recruits finally start firing as Chelsea take on Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
Chelsea have had nowhere near the sort of start they would have wanted to have after the stupendous business done in the summer transfer window. Frank Lampard is still figuring out how to inculcate the new arrivals into the starting eleven while also maintaining balance of team and will now have his real test in terms of man management.
Still, the Blues did look in gear against Crystal Palace despite the Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham. On the other hand, Southampton 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.
Ideally, Ralph Hasenhuttl would have loved to have a better transfer window than to just bring in players to replace the departures. But, Saints, on their day, are as good as the best of teams and it will be intriguing to see the effect international break has on the players and their improving form.
Southampton’s last visit to the Stamford Bridge yielded 3 points to them, with Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond scoring against Chelsea.
Team News & Tactics
Billy Gilmour and Edouard Mendy are on the sidelines while question marks remain on Thiago Silva’s fitness levels. The international duty took two scalps in Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante. But, the former is fit in time to be in contention to feature against Southampton.
Kepa is set to start, with Mendy out as a result of the international break. In defence, Thiago Silva is a confirmed absentee as iterated by Frank Lampard. This is likely to see the Chelsea manager go with Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma at the back, with Antonio Rudiger likely to have fallen down the pecking order.
Chilwell should start on the left, with either of Cesar Azpilicueta or Reece James on the right. Chelsea’s 2019/20 Player of the Year Mateo Kovacic is certain to start and will be partnered by Jorginho in the double pivot role.
Up ahead, Timo Werner is scheduled to lead the attack, with Kai Havertz acting as the playmaker for Chelsea. Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech have both recovered and will be in contention to start on the wing, with the other spot going to either of Mason Mount or Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Kepa; James, Tomori, Zouma, Chilwell; Jorginho, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Havertz, Pulisic; Werner
Moussa Djenepo is out and so is Stuart Armstrong, with Ralph Hasenhuttl confirming Armstrong’s absence for the next 10 days. Mohammed Salisu is also doubtful, which leaves Hasenhuttl with some squad issues ahead of the Chelsea match.
Alex McCarthy should continue in goal for Southampton for the Chelsea trip, with Hasenhuttl likely to retain the back four of Jannik Vestergaard, Jan Bednarek, Ryan Bertrand and Kyle Walker-Peters from their Premier League win over West Brom before the international break.
Oriol Romeu and James Ward-Prowse will be the midfield generals, with Nathan Redmond set for his first Premier League start on the wing this season. Theo Walcott could be in for his homecoming debut after his return to his academy club Southampton on loan from Everton. Danny Ings and Che Adams will look to cause trouble to the Chelsea back four.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Vestergaard, Bednarek, Bertrand; Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond; Ings, Adams
1. Timo Werner to score anytime @ 1.72
1. Chelsea to win to NIL @ 2.75
1. There have been only three goals in the last three meetings between Chelsea and Southampton in the Premier League.
2. Southampton have kept back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League before the international break commenced.
3. Chelsea have scored 7 goals in their last two Premier League games.
4. Chelsea have had 7 different players on the scoresheet despite just being 4 Premier League games into the 2020/21 season.
5. Danny Ings has scored three goals in the 4 Premier League 2020/21 matches so far.
Player to Watch
Time to break the Premier League duck. (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)
The German international has found it hard to send the ball into the back of the net since his move to Chelsea so far. However, Werner did score in the Carabao Cup loss to Tottenham and Frank Lampard would be hopeful that the striker finds his groove.
Up against a Southampton side that have been hit or miss in terms of showing up for the game, Stamford Bridge could be in for a Werner masterclass on Saturday.
Chelsea 3-1 Southampton
As much as the transfer activity has been lauded, Chelsea’s new arrivals must now deliver on the pitch. Frank Lampard would want a positive start to the post-international break calendar leading up straight to the festive season in hopes of a run.
Southampton will give a good fight but we are banking on the Timo Werner to fire Chelsea to a win on Saturday. A comfortable 3-1 win for the home side.