Chelsea laid down a marker with the win over Tottenham, and are primed to show superiority when they welcome Southampton for this Boxing Day date.
Premier League 2019/2020
Date: Thursday, 26th December
Kick-off: 16:00 UK time
Venue: Stamford Bridge
TV Channel: Amazon Prime
Chelsea threw down the gauntlet to their chasing pack with that disciplined 2-0 victory over Tottenham last Sunday, as Frank Lampard masterminded a famous one over his former teacher, Jose Mourinho. The result meant they will spend the Christmas in the top four, six and seven points better off than Spurs and Manchester United, and a quite significant nine from Arsenal.
The scenario of racial abuse on Blues defender Antonio Rudiger was shocking enough, but would not deter them from getting the business done. Attentions will now turn to tightening their grip, having dropped way too many points in recent weeks.
Their opponents, Southampton climbed out of the bottom three with an equally impressive 3-1 win over Aston Villa last weekend, but face a daunting test when they travel to Stamford Bridge. The results have been erratic for the Saints lately, to say the least. A brace of successive 2-1 wins versus relegation strugglers Norwich and Watford were followed by losses to Newcastle and West Ham.
The South-Coast club have not
won away to Chelsea since October 2015, losing three of the last four times they have been to the Bridge.
Mateo Kovacic is suspended for the visit of Southampton due to accumulated bookings.
Cesar Azpilicueta might need replacing after suffering a hamstring versus Tottenham. Olivier Giroud is also a doubt for this one.
There are no new injury worries for Ralph Hassenhuttl aside the unavailability of Yan Valery and Kevin Danso.
Head to head
There have been 103 meetings between these two teams in the past, with Chelsea managing 46 wins to Southampton’s 28. 29 clashes have ended as stalemates.
There have been under 2.5 goals in each of the last three games between these two at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have scored under 2.5 goals in all of their last nine games in all competitions.
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in eight of Southampton’s last nine league games.
Chelsea bounced back from consecutive defeats to Everton and Bournemouth with a big victory over Tottenham, and come into this game reeking with confidence. Chelsea’s last five league games (LWLLW)
Southampton have improved considerably in recent weeks following a number of impressive results, but will face a huge test of character here. They beat Aston Villa coming into this one. Southampton’s last five league games (WWLLW)
Chelsea are odds-on to secure maximum points here and their price for an outright victory explains it. But Southampton can be backed to at least get on the score sheet, and they are well equipped to, if their recent results is anything to go by. The Saints have failed to find the net in just one of their last nine games, so can be backed in a Chelsea win/Both teams to score punt for 13/8.
On the goalscorer markets, Danny Ings has scored 12 times in his last 13 outings after his double last time out. He was on song the last time this fixture was played and is a worthy anytime scorer here for 9/4.