GAMEWEEK 18- CHELSEA vs SOUTHAMPTON- PREVIEW, DREAM 11


CHE VS SOU- MATCH PREVIEW: Last season after 17 game weeks, Chelsea were leading the league table with 43 points and went on to win the league comfortably. The status quo this season; the defending champions are 14 points behind their rivals Manchester City and are placed 3rd. Antonio Conte has thrived on consistency but Chelsea have been rather erratic in his 2nd managerial year. Where have their frailties been identified?

Conte has always fielded a blend of rock-like defenders and quality attackers. A manoeuvre that won him the league last year. An incandescent title defence has now faded into oblivion. Against Huddersfield, the robust quality was evident and against an unsteady Southampton, they clearly are the favourites.

The Saints are conventionally a top-half side. Their current 18-point tally after 17 games is the lowest for them at this stage of a season in five years. The Virgil Van Dijk fiasco narrowed their start and ever since Southampton have struggled to keep up. A heavy 1-4 defeat against the Foxes at home would have undeniably dampened their confidence but they’ve got to hold their chin up and face the Chelsea juggernaut. Charlie Austin’s return to form ought to be a huge confidence booster.

CHELSEA 2017/18

SOUTHAMPTON 2017/18

PLAYED

17

PLAYED

17

WON

11

WON

4

LOST

4

LOST

7

DRAW

2

DRAW

6

LEAGUE POSITION

3rd

LEAGUE POSITION

11th

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD

CHELSEA

20

SOUTHAMPTON

8

DRAW

8

FACTS: Southampton have only won two of their 40 away top-flight matches against the reigning champions – they beat Leeds United in March 1970 and Chelsea in October 2015.

Southampton have kept only one clean sheet in their last 24 Premier League games against Chelsea.

Antonio Conte has the best win percentage of any permanent Chelsea manager in league history (74.6%).

Marcos Alonso has had a hand in 13 goals since his Chelsea debut (9 goals, 4assists); two more than any other Premier League defender.

PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR- CHE VS SOU

N’Golo Kante(Chelsea): The PFA player of the year 2016/17, Kante is probably the best holding midfielder in the league. He plays ‘The Makelele’ role to an absolute nicety. While his interceptions, tackles and work rate have been praised Kante’s passing abilities have been undermined. An injury kept him out for three games, but the magnificent midfielder has now returned to optimum fitness.

Charlie Austin(Southampton): With 4 goals in the last 5 games, Austin has been the man in form for the Saints. His partnership with Ryan Bertrand and Dusan Tadic has to work precisely for Southampton to challenge the reigning champions.

TEAM NEWS: For Chelsea, David Luiz remains unavailable for selection due to an injured knee. Alvaro Morata missed the midweek game against Huddersfield. His condition hasn’t been confirmed yet. Cesc Fabregas is likely to start and Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen form the back three.

Southampton have a fully fit squad. Nathan Redmond is likely to start and might replace Sofiane Boufal.

 

EXPECTED STARTING TEAMS FOR CHE VS SOU

(Chelsea): Thibaut Courtois(gk), Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Gary Cahill, Marcos Alonso, Victor Moses, N’golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Willian, Eden Hazard, Pedro.

(Southampton): Fraser Forster(gk), Ryan Bertrand, Wesley Hoedt, Virgil Van Dijk, Cedric Soares, Oriol Romeu, Mario Lemina, Dusan Tadic, Steven Davies, Nathan Redmond, Charlie Austin.

DREAM 11 FOR CHE VS SOU:

 

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