Southampton flirted with the top 4 for a while but have since returned to their respective spot in the mid-table places. Jay Rodriguez-who has been in scintillating form of late-and an excellent defence have led the Saints to a comfortable 9th place. The Saints have been inconsistent in their matches against the top 8 teams-defeating Liverpool and drawing against Man U, Man City, and Newcastle while losing to Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Everton. But the majority of those games were on the road and having the home advantage here may be a massive difference maker to the result. Goals have been the norm in recent matchups between the 2 sides with 17 total in their last 4 games. This certainly means advantage Chelsea, but I anticipate a cagey first half from both sides yet this should be an entertaining affair that could come down to the final minute.
Chelsea saw off Liverpool 2-1 on Sunday after falling behind early. The result saw Jose Mourinho's unbeaten home record extended to 70 games. Eden Hazard played well as usual, but Willian looked a man possessed as he could do no wrong, displaying why he carried such a heavy price tag in the transfer market. That should earn the Brazilian another start and Southampton will be wise to focus on the attacking wings as Chelsea's strikers offer little in the way of goals (though Eto'o did net the winner against Liverpool). Mourinho's men have lacked confidence away from home this campaign, however, only picking up wins against the lowly likes of Sunderland, West Ham, and Norwich.
Southampton FC - Chelsea FC
2013/2014 English Premier League, Round 20
Date: 01.January.2014 - 16:00 CET
Stadium: St. Mary's Stadium - Southampton
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Defenders: Shaw, Fonte, Lovren, Clyne
Midfielders: Lallana, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Cork, Schneiderlin
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
Injured: Guly, Osvaldo, Boruc, Wanyama
Defenders: Cole, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta
Midfielders: Hazard,, Ramires, Mata, Obi Mikel, Schuerrle
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Injured: Van Ginkel, Bertrand
Booked: Luizcan you watch match live here