Southampton host Chelsea at St Mary’s in an action packed Sunday in the Premier League, kicking off at 2:15pm local time. Southampton are leveraging above the relegation zone after a slow start to their season, whereas Chelsea’s emphatic start to the season as come to a halt drawing their last two matches which puts them 2 points off the top two who play later on in the day. A win in this fixture will put them top of the table, temporarily at least, and they’ll not want to waste this opportunity knowing at least one of their key rivals for the title will drop points.

Home Team: Southampton

Southampton have been a formidable Premier League team since their return to the top league in the 2012/2013 Premier League campaign. They had continuously improved year upon year, and had many fantastic players at the club. Unfortunately, they have sold many key players throughout this time, and the fans can suggest the same amount of money hasn’t been invested back into the club. The club sold Virgil Van Dyke to Liverpool in January, and since his departure their defence has significantly weakened whereas he has made a telling contribution to Liverpool’s backline. Southampton have been through some managers, but their current manager Mark Hughes was able to keep them from getting relegated by the skin of their teeth, and claimed the side was too good to be down in the relegation battle in the first place. However, early season form has suggested that they may be enduring another relegation battle this season. Only one win so far this season, away at Crystal Palace, coupled with some draws giving them a grand total of 5 points out of the first 21. At this rate, it may not be enough to keep them in the Premier League for next year’s campaign. The side will depend on Danny Ings for their goals, as he is responsible for 50% of the goals they have scored in the league so far. Will they be able to get a big result this Sunday to inject new optimism into their club?

Away Team: Chelsea

chelsea fc bet on footballChelsea’s overall performances have been a huge improvement on what they were accustomed to last season. Chelsea tend to play open and attacking football, something we don’t credit Chelsea with in recent years, despite their success. Not only are they playing attractive football but they are managing to get the right results too. They had won maximum points from their opening five matches, but since the introduction of cup competitions and European football on Thursday nights, they drew 0-0 at West Ham and drew at home to Liverpool. Despite dropping points in those two games, the fans, players and manager would be proud of their performances on those two occasions, knowing that they were very close to winning both of them. Eden Hazard had an excellent World Cup for Belgium in the summer, and it appears he has gone up another gear since the beginning of the season. He has scored two fine finishes against Liverpool in a week, and it’s really fascinating to see how he continues his form, because on his day, he is certainly the best player in the Premier League barring no exceptions. Following two draws, Chelsea will want to get back to winning ways, particularly on a weekend where their two closest rivals are playing.

Head to Head

Southampton and Chelsea have faced each other 112 times in their history, with Chelsea winning 42 matches compared to Southampton’s 30 successes. Southampton’s last success is when they defeated Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge back in 2015, putting immense pressure on Jose Mourinho who was sacked just a month later. Sadio Mane and Graziano Pellè were scorers on that day. Since that win, Southampton have lost six matches in a row against the Blues. Last season, Southampton threw away a 2-0 lead in this corresponding fixture, to concede three goals in the last 15 minutes for Chelsea to get the victory. The two sides also met in the FA Cup semi-finals a few weeks after, and Chelsea were victorious again, as Southampton’s bad record against Chelsea continues. The last time Southampton had defeated Chelsea at St Mary’s was back in 2013 in the season they had returned to the Premier League after a 9 hear hiatus. Chelsea have won at St Mary’s in their last three trips, and only lost once in their last 10 visits. Can they continue this excellent record against Southampton?

Predictions and Betting Tips

Chelsea are at 8/13 to get the win here, and a home win for Southampton is priced at 17/4. The odds of a draw are at 3/1. Southampton haven’t produced any type of performance this season to suggest that they can test one of the big teams in the division. In their opening three home league matches, they have drawn to Burnley and Brighton, as well as losing to Leicester, so vast improvements are needed if they were to cause a shock. I have to back the away win here, so a 2-1 score line at 15/2 would be my first prediction. Last year it was 3-2 in Chelsea’s favour, and that is priced at 25/1 for that score line to happen again.

Chelsea had to come from behind to win this fixture last season, so for a repeat of that feat, you can bet on Chelsea to win from behind at 9/1. Eden Hazard to score at any time is at 8/11 so very favourable considering his rich vein of form. For the hosts, Danny Ings can get some vital goals, and also on penalty duty so for him to score first at 6/1 would be something to consider. Finally, despite Chelsea being favourites, it wouldn’t be totally shocking for this game to be 0-0, as Southampton may learn from West Ham’s performance last week and try to defend deep, keep compact and prevent Chelsea from scoring throughout the 90 minutes. That particular result hasn’t happened in this fixture since 2002, but those records are made to be broken! Bet on it being 0-0, and you’ll get generous odds of about 12/1.

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