The Blues will have a grand opportunity to continue their winning ways and avenge their last tie against the Saints this Saturday. It’s Southampton vs Chelsea.
Thomas Tuchel has gone undefeated in his first 6 Chelsea games as head manager and has gotten back in the top four. On the other hand, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Southampton have had a horrendous run of form, losing five consecutive games which include the dreadful 9-0 loss to Manchester United. With wins against Burnley, Newcastle, and Tottenham, Chelsea have leapt from ninth in the standings to fourth in a matter of weeks. The question is: can Chelsea remain consistent enough to win key games under pressure and continue to mount points for the top four race or will their momentum die out? Our fellow writers at the Chelsea Social give their predictions and thoughts on how Southampton vs Chelsea will unfold.
Southampton vs Chelsea: Will Chelsea Continue to Deliver the Blues and Push the Saints Further South?
Rewind back to October, Chelsea were ahead 2-0 in the 43rd minute under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge. A masterclass goal from Timo Werner opened the scoring early on and was the first major statement of his overall offensive ability in the Premier League. Werner made it 2-0 in 30 minutes from a wonderful first time long pass from Jorginho and Chelsea were cruising by then. Everything seemed well and Chelsea looked like they were going to half-time 2-0 up. Unfortunately, that did not occur; In the 43rd minute, Kai Havertz lost the ball in a dangerous area and gave the Saints the chance at a quick counter in our own half, cutting the deficit to one right before the half time whistle. The second half was quite eventful as an atrocious blunder from our backline leveled things for the Saints. Eventually, the match ended 3-3 in which seemed like a loss due to the lead that Chelsea possessed before halftime.
Since then, Chelsea have been on an inconsistent run of form team juggling between the top four and mid-table under Lampard. Tuchel’s introduction has rejuvenated the Chelsea side to the point of returning several players from exile such as Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rüdiger, and Kepa Arrizabalaga. Five wins out of six matches in all competitions is a stupendous turn of events for the Blues in which has seen them return to contend for the UEFA Champions League places.
The change in formation to a back three is one of the focal points for discussion as it brought much more defensive stability to Chelsea’s backline. Not only has it given Chelsea an extra defender in the back but the chance for Callum Hudson-Odoi to get additional playing time in a new position. The right-wing back slot is looking like a viable option for the young English winger and is providing an attacking threat on wide areas. The clean slate for the squad has definitely refreshed the morale of the team.
The Blues head into this encounter against a heavily wounded Saints outfit reeling from six consecutive league defeats for the first time ever in their history. However, their coach, Ralph Hassenhuttl, has proven managerial pedigree and has instigated a dramatic turnaround in fortunes on the south coast before, notably after a damaging 9-0 loss at home to Leicester City last season. This Southampton outfit are better than their current form shows and will be looking to capitalise on any complacency within the Chelsea ranks to return themselves back to form.
As much as it’s Southampton vs Chelsea, it”s also Hassenhuttl against Tuchel. Two German coaches schooled in the art of front foot, pressing football, the question is: can Chelsea’s tactictian guide them to five wins on the bounce or will the team’s four game winning streak come to an end at the St. Mary’s Stadium?
Vivek ( @CFC_Vivek )
With Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva back in training, I expect Thomas Tuchel to field a very strong team against Southampton. I have a feeling that the former will feature but Thiago Silva will be on the bench ahead of an all-important clash vs Atletico Madrid midweek. Chelsea will surely remember the 3-3 draw this season and will be very much aware of Ralph Hassenhuttl’s high-intensity gegenpress. I predict Chelsea to win 3-0 with us killing the game off in the first half. Chelsea has looked very cohesive of late and Southampton, I expect, will have a very hard time breaking down a solid Chelsea defense who have not conceded an opposition goal under Thomas Tuchel (aside from Rudiger’s gaffe against Sheffield United). However, Chelsea need to be very wary of the Southampton threats from a James Ward-Prowse set piece or an incredibly quick counter-attacking threat from Danny Ings. With all things put into consideration, I believe Chelsea will be the superior team.
Final Score: 0-3 Chelsea
Matt North ( @MattNorth_ )
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea continue to go from strength to strength since the German’s appointment and will be looking to make it five straight league wins against an out of form Southampton side. The Saints have lost six straight league matches, including the 9-0 thrashing against Manchester United and are desperate to end that dire run. There were plenty of positives to take from Monday’s win over Newcastle and it was especially great to see Timo Werner end his goal drought. Hopefully the German can get himself on the scoresheet at St Mary’s. Heading into this match, the Blues were boosted by the return of Thiago Silva and Kai Havertz in training following their respective injuries, where we could see the duo feature on the South Coast. The Blues have boasted a very good track record away at Southampton, winning six out of our past eight visits since the Saints’ promotion to the top flight in 2012. Despite their poor form, this will still be a tough match and a good Southampton, as the likes of Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse could cause us problems. However, I still think we have enough to edge this and get the three points here.
Final Score: 1-2 Chelsea
Travis ( @Crossroads_CFC )
Chelsea travel away to Southampton for another match that will be crucial for momentum in the top four challenge. Southampton come into the match off form and falling in the table, while the opposite can be said for Chelsea coming into this match. However, every game in the Premier League is difficult, and I expect Southampton to push Chelsea for the majority of the first half. I predict that the starting XI for Chelsea will be: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, James, Jorginho, Kovacic, Alonso, CHO, Mount, and Werner. I expect the Saints will open the scoring against the Blues to take a 1-0 lead in the first half. The Blues will respond well to going behind and equalize before half time to make it 1-1 at the break. I feel the quality within the West London outfit will be too much for the Saints and will break them down midway into the second half. I predict a hard-fought 3 points for Chelsea.
Final Score: 1-2 Chelsea
RJ ( @RJ_Goodthings )
It’s Southampton vs Chelsea and based on the form guide, it’s a tale of the two opposites. On one hand, Tuchel’s men go into this match having won their past 4 League games (and one FA Cup clash in between) whereas the Saints haven’t won in the league since their shock 1-0 victory over Liverpool in early January. While this match should be a straightforward proposition for the Blues, I’ve been around long enough to see us make straightforward things look very complicated! I also have a lot of respect for Southampton and think, despite their poor form, they’re a decent football side. I just hope we turn up with the mentality that we should respect the Saints, and the best way to do so is to play with total conviction and not become complacent. I’m anticipating seeing a similar line-up to the Newcastle match albeit Giroud will likely get the nod to start up top as Abraham is out. I also expect to see Mendy back in goal as per Tuchel’s comment post-Newcastle. Personally, I’d like to see Ziyech, Pulisic, and maybe Havertz gets some minutes to give them a bit of confidence before Atletico Madrid. In summary, I’m expecting a tough match but fingers crossed we continue our good form via hard-earned victory. Here’s hoping!
Final Score: 1-2 Chelsea
Rey ( Rey_Blues30 )
This is an important game in a crucial month. Chelsea will visit Southampton at St Mary’s for the second Premier League fixture against Southampton as we hope to continue our winning ways. The last time we faced Hassenhüttl’s side was an eventful 3-3 draw at the Bridge in which we saw us give up a 2-0 lead by the second half, which was frustrating as we lost out on two valuable points. I hope to see our team come in with intensity and sharpness because we will need it despite the poor run of form the Saints are in. I expect the home side to come in with an edge after losing 5 games consecutively in the league. It will be a physical game and I predict a 3-1 scoreline in where I see them breaking that clean sheet of no opposition goals. I hope to see Werner back on the scoresheet after his last goal against Newcastle where he played wonderfully. Hopefully, we show up and see a ruthless Chelsea in front of the goal! Up to Chels!
Final Score: 1-3 Chelsea
Dan Hill ( @idanknow05 )
In the lead-up to the game on the south coast, it appeared that all roads lead to three points for Chelsea. Courtesy of the reliable OneFootball app, I came across some interesting statistics: Chelsea have won each of their last five away trips to Southampton and haven’t failed to beat the Saints at least once a season since two 1-1 draws in our title-winning campaign in 2014-15. Unfortunately, if you are a devout Chelsea fan you will know all too well the club’s propensity for being generous when the odds are in its favor. Having been on a wretched 6 game losing streak, this seems like the perfect game for Ralph Hassenhuttl’s team to reignite their season and stop the rot. In new manager Thomas Tuchel, though, we have a tactician cut from the same coaching cloth as his German counterpart. Both well versed in the Ralf Rangnick school of footballing philosophy, the German pair will be very evenly matched but similarly eager to get one over the other. Chelsea has every reason to be confident going into this match having been undefeated under their new coach. Four consecutive wins have put the Blues in a good position to challenge for the top 4. And with players like Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi beginning to hit their stride off the basis of a solid defense, the Blues really should look at this match as an opportunity to secure a vital three points. It’s imperative, though, that no complacency whatsoever sets in as Southampton have in players like Danny Ings, Nathan Redmond, Takumi Minamino, and Stuart Armstrong some dangerous attacking talent. I feel as though Chelsea will have enough to get the job done, but it will be very tough.
Final Score: 1-2 Chelsea
Written By: Rey, Vivek, Travis, Dan and Matt
Edited by Dan Hill (@idanknow05)
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