Southampton v Chelsea Preview

Barclays Premier League | Wednesday January 1 | St. Mary's Stadium | 15:00





Chelsea start 2014 with a tricky looking trip down to the south coast of England to take on Southampton at St Mary's! The Blues will be looking to kick off the New Year with a win against a talented Southampton team while The Saints are looking to redeem themselves after a poor run of form which has seen them drop down to ninth place.

To Win (90mins)
Southampton 3/1 
Draw 5/2 
Chelsea 1/1

SOUTHAMPTON

Mauricio Pochettino's side had been third heading into November's fixtures but just two wins in 10 league
games has seen them slide down the table.

The Argentine will have his work cut out when The Saints host Chelsea on New Years Day.

Pochettino felt his side deserved a lot more than they got as they rounded off 2013 with a 2-1 defeat at Everton.

The Saints had their moments and they will reflect on their missed opportunities as they head back south.

It is 15 months since Mauricio Pochettino’s reign began with a relatively nondescript goalless draw against the same opponents at St Mary’s.

But as 2013 ends with Saints ensconced in the top half of the Premier League, despite Sunday’s result, Pochettino can be very proud of what he has achieved so far.

It promises to be a tough game for The Saints despite their good form at home. They will need to be at their very best to come out with three points yet alone one.

With Victor Wanyama out injured for Southampton they are really missing that extra bite in the middle of the pitch and this is something that could really hurt them.

Gaston Ramirez will be pushing for a starting place in the Southampton side after his superb long range strike.

He seems to be in a process of recovering his confidence and he’s on the right path.

CHELSEA

Chelsea come into Wednesday’s match sitting in third place and only two points off the top spot.

This is the second match between these sides this season after they played at the Bridge at the start of December.

That day the Blues fought back after a first minute Southampton goal to win 3-1 thanks to strikes by Gary Cahill, John Terry and Demba Ba.

Chelsea have tended to rise to the occasion against bigger teams this season and did so once more when they beat Liverpool 2-1 to extend Mourinho's unbeaten Premier League record at home to 70 matches.

Many have accused the Blues of being overly negative this season, but they do have the fourth most goals this season with 35 while also only allowing 19 goals, third best in the league.

This stereotype seems to come from some of their more aggressive fouls, some of which go unpunished.

In their win over Liverpool they had 52% possession against a team that has averaged 55%.

They also took 11 shots with five on target for their two goals. It was a match that they dominated and controlled after giving up an early goal.

The Blues will be pleased to have Ramires back after serving his suspension, while David Luiz will sit out after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season.

Chelsea will look to rely on Eden Hazard, who was voted Man of the Match against Liverpool.

The Belgian was at the heart of Chelsea's most incisive moves and was rewarded for a creative display with a superb goal.

Betting Prediction: CHELSEA 1/1
The Saints will give it their all but Chelsea are beginning to regain the form everyone expected them to have since the return of The Special One. This match should be a hotly contested one, but I will give Chelsea the edge considering the quality they have in the team. Chelsea have a winning record against the Saints having played them 90 times in total. The Blues have won 37 of those matches, 26 have been drawn and Southampton have won 27 times. It will be a difficult one for Chelsea, but Mourinho's boys will welcome the challenge.  

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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