The Blues slipped up last weekend, sliding to a surprise defeat at West Ham. However, they were back on form in midweek, enjoying a comfortable 3-1 win at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Goals from Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro sealed Chelsea’s sixth victory on the road this season, with only runaway leaders Manchester City currently possessing a better
The Saints come into the fixture in disappointing form and suffered a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Leicester on Wednesday night.
Mauricio Pellegrino apologised to his supporters for an “awful” performance, a result which means his Southampton side have won only once in their last five league games.
In an absorbing encounter at the start of the 1997/98 season, Chelsea defeated Southampton in a high scoring 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea got off to a fast start, with Romania international Dan Petrescu striking the first blow in the opening 10 minutes.
A young Kevin Davies, signed in the summer from second division Chesterfield, equalised for Southampton with his first goal for the club midway through the first half.
That instigated a goal blitz from the home side however, as three quick goals before half-time put the hosts out of sight.
Franck Lebeouf, Mark Hughes and Dennis Wise struck within six minutes of each other as the home side romped into a 4-1 lead at the interval.
Ken Monkou’s header in the second half restored respectability to the scoreline but the Blues ran out comfortable winners in front of a crowd of 28,832 at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard vs Virgil van Dijk
Eden Hazard has been electrifying this season, proving to fans and pundits across Europe that he is back to his very best.
The Belgian, 26, has scored five goals and contributed three assists in the league so far this season but his influence on Chelsea’s style of play has been immeasurable.
Keeping an eye on him this weekend is likely to be Southampton’s stand out centre-back, Virgil van Dijk.
The Dutchman has been linked away with a move from St Mary’s for almost a year, with some major European forces said to be monitoring his situation.
The Saints have not kept a clean sheet since the middle of October and will be looking to Van Dijk to subdue the threat Hazard is likely to provide.
Antonio Conte is likely to rotate his squad as the Blues play their fourth game in 11 days.
Alvaro Morata missed the Huddersfield game with a back problem but should come back into consideration. Midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Danny Drinkwater may earn recalls to the starting lineup, while skipper Gary Cahill could be line for a return to the back three.
Southampton are expected to make changes after their midweek disaster ag
Nathan Redmond, James Ward-Prowse and Manolo Gabbiadini came off the bench during the second half of Wednesday’s encounter and boss Mauricio Pellegrino may opt to draft a couple of them in to start after a slightly improved second half showing.
Potential Chelsea Lineup: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill, Zappacosta, Kante, Bakayoko, Pedro, Fabregas, Willian, Hazard.
Potential Southampton Lineup: Forster, Soares, Van Dijk, Yoshida, Bertrand, Romeu, Davis, Ward-Prowse, Redmond, Tadic, Austin.
Chelsea have a decent home record this season, though they have tasted defeat twice in their eight home games so far.
The Blues have won their last three league encounters with the Saints and come into the match as strong favourites.
Southampton have struggled on the road this season, winning only once on their travels.
They have, however, enjoyed recent success at Stamford Bridge, and will look to draw inspiration from their 3-1 victory here two seasons ago.
With the opportunity to strengthen their grip on third place and put pressure on rivals Manchester United, it’s hard to look past Antonio Conte’s side for this one.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Southampton