Chelsea will look to resume their quest for a top-four finish this week as they welcome relegated Norwich to Stamford Bridge.
Frank Lampard’s boys missed a chance to strengthen their grip of third-place last time out as they suffered a chastening defeat at the hands of Sheffield United. They will be looking to get back on track here, and with Manchester United closing in, only a win can guarantee Champions-League football next season.
Norwich City who were condemned to Championship football in their last outing head into this tie without a win in nine games in all competitions. With nothing left to play for and perhaps no pressure to win, they will be looking to upset The Blues and put a marker down before the season ends.
Frank Lampard who tinkered his starting eleven last time out by bringing in Jorginho and Abraham remains without Billy Gilmour, Ngolo Kante and Fikayo Tomori for this tie. Forgotten man Marco van Ginkel is back to training but is not expected to be named in the matchday squad.
Daniel Farke has Moritz Leitner (hernia), Christoph Zimmermann (Hamstring), Grant Hanley (hamstring) and Sam Byram (hamstring) on the treatment table.
Head to Head
Chelsea have won four of the last five meetings between both sides in all competitions. In that period, only one of the games featured over 3.5 goals with both teams scoreless in the other fixture.
Chelsea last five competitive games: LWWLW
Southampton last five competitive games: LLLLL
Chelsea were surprised by Sheffield United last time out as the Blades scored thrice without conceding in their last outing.
Inconsistency has cost The Blues who head into this tie on a patchy run of form, having lost two of their last four league games. After beating Man City in game week 31, the hosts succumbed to a 3:2 defeat to West Ham. And two games later, they were again nearly undone by Crystal Palace who fought them till the end, and eventually losing 3:2.
Defence has been an area of weakness of Frank Lampard’s boys in recent times, though with just two of their last seven games ending with a clean sheet. In that period, they scored twelve times but also conceded nine times.
However, at home they are unbeaten in four games having picked up maximum points against Liverpool in the FA cup, Everton, Man City and most recently Watford in the PL. A win looks likely for them here.
Norwich meanwhile were relegated in their last outing as they were condemned to a 4:0 defeat by fellow strugglers West Ham.
Their stats heading into this tie makes for grim reading. The visitors are currently on a eight game losing run. In that period, they have scored just four times while conceding 18 times.
Since the turn of the year, the visitors have taken points off only Crystal Palace, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Leicester City (W2, D2) in the league.
Away from home, their stat looks all the more sober as they have kept just one clean sheet in ten away games.
Overall, they remain the least scoring side in the league with just 26 goals in 35 games with just seven of those goals coming away from home. They have failed to find the back of the net in almost 50% of their games as they have gone scoreless in 17 out of 35 games.
Away from home, no team has recorded more blanks than they this season with 65% of their away games seeing them fail to score.
Chelsea to win @ 1/6
Over 2.5 Goals @ 4/11
Chelsea to win first and second half @ 4/7