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Chelsea vs. Southampton

Stamford Bridge

16/01/13

19:45

Chelsea v Southampton Preview

Our Premier League programme continues this Wednesday evening when we entertain Southampton. Rafa Benitez will be hoping that his squad can turn around a slump in home form that has seen Chelsea defeated twice on the bounce with Queens Park Rangers taking all three points in a Premier League clash and Swansea beating us in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final. Southampton; recently thrashed 5-1 by us in the FA Cup, will be looking for revenge and heap further misery on Rafa, but who will prevail?

Vital Quotes:

Ahead of the fixture with Southampton, at his pre-match press conference, Rafa Benitez spoke about, in a roundabout manner, the unrest he faces from those who are reluctant to accept him as our new boss, remarking,

"Every proper fan wants their team to win. Some of them will show more or less passion but everyone wants us to beat Southampton."

"My priority is not to think about me but about the team winning."

"But yesterday I came back to London from seeing my family and a few Chelsea fans on the train told me they were pleased with how I was working."

"They see I`m a professional and appreciate what I do."

"I`ve contact with some fans but I don`t have time to be talking with everyone because we`ve a game every three days and my job is to prepare the team. It`s my job to manage the side, analyze everything, talk with the players and staff and then make decisions."

"Even when I explain some of my reasons for selecting certain players, people still criticize me."

"So the way to go forward is to concentrate on the positives. And we have a lot of that positivity around the club."


Is it time to get behind Rafa?

Chelsea Team News:

Chelsea go into this fixture boosted by the news that both Demba Ba and Fernando Torres are fit again after their battles with hamstring and illness problems recently. Captain John Terry is fit again but a lack of match fitness may see JT on the bench.

However, the African Cup of Nations deprives Rafa of both John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses, both of whom are in the Nigeria squad.

Also out is Oriel Romeu who is out with a long term knee injury whilst a recent bench occupant, Lucas Piazon, is now on loan at Malaga, until the end of the season.

A bonus though is the availability of Gary Cahill who missed the victory at Stoke after rushing to be with his partner as she gave birth.

Player to watch: Frank Lampard

His penalty, at Stoke, edged him ahead of Kerry Dixon in the all-time scoring list at Chelsea, with eight needed to catch Bobby Tambling, can Frank edge closer on Wednesday evening.

Southampton Team News:

Nigel Adkins has a few injury concerns ahead of the clash. Luke Shaw, linked with a move to Chelsea, will be absent with a knee problem whilst Jose Fonte, also with a knee problem, isn`t available.

The highly rated midfielder Adam Lallana is also unavailable with a knee problem. However, we expect the former Chelsea youngster, Jack Cork, to be in the squad.

Player to watch: Ricky Lambert

The Saints striker has scored in every division and whilst some doubted he could operate at Premier League level, he`s proved them wrong.

Match Facts & Stats

We welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge with a decent record against them. Chelsea have won the last five against the Saints, in league and cup fixtures.

Its eleven years since Southampton won at Stamford Bridge when they triumphed 4-2 on New Year`s Day 2002. A certain James Beattie scored twice that day, the same James Beattie who is now a player-coach at Accrington Stanley.

Ref Watch:

Our officials for this encounter are:- Referee - M. Oliver Assistant - S. Burt Assistant - P. Kirkup Fourth Official - H. Webb

Match Prediction:

Although, not quite a fortnight ago, we routed Southampton 5-1 in the FA Cup, on there own patch, Wednesday evening will be a completely different affair. Southampton are fighting for every point to try and secure their Premier League future and will be a tough nut to crack. But I`m taking Chelsea to win and end the recent run of poor home results.

Next Fixtures:

Next up is a tasty looking encounter at Stamford Bridge, this Sunday,, with Arsenal.




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The Journalist

Writer: Merlin Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 15 2013

Time: 6:17PM

Your Comments

Am scared of this clash,especially when the venue is at the bridge..our home form is nothin to be proud of
Ken4CFC
best of luck blues and hope Ba scores !!!
Blue Bezerkas
I pray torres gets injured..i am sick of the sight of him
Zhahovic
If it is a must that Torres will play, then let Rafa consider bringing him in 5 minutes to the end of match. If Torres starts as the striker, then I am afraid....
avbhimself
If Torres starts tonights game, i think there'll be a revolt at Stamford Bridge...Rafa is not that naive.
JohnnyOz
Mata better play tonight and play well. He is my fantasy league captain lol
Slippy G-19
What a stupid comment about wishing someone to get injured. You folks are crazy!!!!
KAKUfrank
MY LINE UP FOR 2DAY: Cech. Iva. Cahill, Terry, Cole Rami Lamps Oscar Mata Hazard Ba (Luiz needs a rest, marin, bertrand, torres, azpi also needs a rest, turnbull) Agree?
austriablue
It will really be a matter of serious concern if we don't grab the available points involved in tonight's encounter, the home situation is messy already. Since majority view holds it that it is the bus parking pattern of visiting teams that stifles our attack,it is advisible we start with Ba,because he is a better fighter than Torres and has the ability to play his game in a crowded space much more than Torres. That will enable our attacking mids to collect drop balls from Ba within the deep defending opponent's goal area,creating vital goal scoring chances in the process. Lets hope for a win,the only foreseeable obstacke to that is a wrong team selection and a negative tactics.
Ohans
Player to watch: TORRES......BECAUSE YOU CAN WATCH HIM EASILY AND CLEARLY BEACASUE HE WILL STAND THERE AND DO NOTHING...
shlok27
I am hoping for a comprehensive win tonight....a 4-0 mauling will be just fine, but I doubt it as this southampton will be different from the one we mauled 5-1, they will be hoping to claim our scalps, but if we get the formation right and we are disciplined all through with no meaningless cards, I see us getting the 3 points at stake here
Desmondadonis
I am sure we will win this. I am already looking past this game. Arsenal on Sunday. I support RAFA to rotate players because of Sunday game.
jollyheart Torres
Hope we go with a diferent formation. My wish would be Oscar and Lamps in cm, rami dm, mata and Hazard on the flanks. Give Azpi and Cole some rest, possibly even Luiz. Oh, and leave Torres in the cradle, for safety reasons.
icebluelg
If we win tonight and beat Arsenal a top 4 finish will be as good as secure. Lose both and we're back in crisis mode. I'd play Ba tonight, against Arsenal then again at Swansea. He can rest up at Brentford then he plays at Newcastle rests against Wigan and Sparta. Although we still need somebody to play in his place or we'll be playing with 10 men.
CobhamBlue
hope we win this, and hope Ba plays For 80mins and Poorres 10mins
darilngblue
I wonder why the board is slotting back to dormancy as regards the transfer windows when it is clear enough we some reinforcements.
Ohans
Ba will start today and Torres will start against Arsenal since Chelsea vs Arsenal is "tasty encounter".
MAY192012
I prefer Torres to start today and Ba against Arsenal and Swansea.
SameX
*typo*...need reforcements
Ohans
Ba needs to start today as we cant afford not to win this match. It will serve as a morale booster going into the next one and will allay the fears regarding the home forn against the bigger clash on sunday. Also, Torres can cope better against a team like Arsenal more than Soton...for a reason i think i shouldnt xplain again.
Ohans
We dont have the strikers for rotation. We have just one striker - Ba. We need to win all our coming games. Torres should be a sub in all of the games. Ba needs no interference in that role. Torres should be played in our europa matches if we are unable to get another striker this January.
avbhimself
Guardiola to Bayern :)
MAY192012
the special one or the fat spanish one to stay??
Dave-David
OFFICIAL; Pep Guardiola is the new Bayern Munich Manager.
nelyvanile
Yesss. now work on getting jose.
Ess...DaBison
BREAKING NEWS: Pep Guardiola will become Bayern Munich’s manager from the start of the 2013/14 season on a 3yr contract
nelyvanile
Pep's off the table, huge sigh of relief. That Bayern job will show him up for the second rate manager he really is.
Carefree_1990
BREAKING NEWS: Guardiola agrees three-year deal with Bayern Munich
jollyheart Torres
PEP joined German giants Bayern Munich after agreeing a three-year deal.
jollyheart Torres
For the people that hate RAFA. The chance is big that RAFA might get the job full time.
jollyheart Torres
I see no reason Pep won't do well in Germany, but I'm also relieved because it will hopefully teach Roman a valuable lesson: you can't buy everything you want. If Jose doesn't return, my worst fear is that we'll be stuck with Tubby. But there's other talent out there, no question about it.
RadioactiveD
HAHAHAHA I CAN'T STOP LAUGHING, WHAT A BLOW TO MR. RA OH WOW LOL, WHO WILL BE THE NEXT VICTIM AT THE BRIDGE NEXT YEAR??? WILL IT BE THE SPECIAL ONE ONCE AGAIN???
Tiraspol
LMAOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pep. Bayern is the perfect fit though.
KAKUfrank
Atleast he is not coming to any of our rivals. Although i don't want him,but its kinda embarrasing that he chose Bayern over us.
Ohans
Would you rather work for a football club with Hoeness, Heynckes and Rummenigge,all ex footballers and know their football or one with Roman and his 3 amigos like GabU will say? They announce their manager for 2013/2014 season six months before his official appointment,we tend to wait till the last minute. Good one Pep,you just dodged a huge bullet.
nelyvanile
why bayern Munich? not that pep was a choice for me but strange choice.im seriously hoping Jose mourinho comes back because being stuck with al mcwhiggin out of toy story for a few years don't bear thinking about.
Chelsea ken
Biding his time at Bayern till Fergie retires perhaps? Hope this gives Roman that reality check to change the way certain aspects of this club are run.
Anarchy
Bayern is a great club and they have everything Pep needs to succeed: a great academy, vibrant talent, top facilities, and Munich is a wonderful city. See, Pep's rejection of CFC--if we're to call it that--should be a reality check: the job at Chelsea isn't as desirable as it once was, and that's because Roman sacks managers ever six months. There's no stability, no loyalty, no patience. Why would Pep pursue such a job? I wouldn't if I was in his position. On the upside, Mourinho knows Roman and loves Chelsea. He knows the league. And after this debacle with Tubby, the board should know that it must appease the supporters with a manager that people will get behind. If Mourinho isn't that man, I don't know who is. On the downside, Mourinho may be eyeing the job in Paris. Unlimited funds, a great city, and no Roman Abramovich and his mini-group of sycophants. I can't really see Mourinho going to City unless he simply doesn't want to work with Chelsea. But let me say, we're damn lucky that the United job isn't available yet.
RadioactiveD
We are stuck with Rafa, because no good coach in his right senses will want to work at Chelsea and get sacked once we experience a little blip in form and with Pep to Bayern Munich the best thing for us is to retain Benitez for continuity sake.
sojofjand
I actually see Mourinho going to City or PSG. He has too much pride to return to Chelsea. @SOJOFJAND, retain Benitez for continuity sake? Are you kiddng me mate?????
KAKUfrank
Sojo. Thank God this is just an online forum,I just read your comment out loud,and my whole family almost pounced on you,ill mute what the missus just said...but don't even go there mate. Lol.
nelyvanile
bad news....i wanted pep but knewed he wont come here because of roman bad management of sacking manager after manager....good for him...now who will manage us next season thats a big question....dont want jose let him go somewere else...thinks bigger than the club...dont want that attitude here....i hope we get both zola and poyet as manager and assistant at chelsea would be a great combination...and evveryone will love it...hiddink in cfc board...next season just start building we have the talent just need stabality...zola and poyet combination will be great...
shlok27
In all likelyhood those alleged Chelsea fans were made it figments of his imaginations, but if for some reason it's true, I'm truly ashamed that some star struck, smarmy "fan" would do such a thing. That's simply not the proper Chelsea way of approaching a celeb, now, is it? I don't personally like 'Tubby', but I don't hate him or want him to fail, but to do such a**kissing is beyond me. Ok, I truly adore the Special One, and since he's expressed his love for English passion (...while kicking a Spaniard fan who wanted his autograph in the bum), if I saw him on the morning commute I'd possibly give him a recognising nod and a note of encouragement; keep up the good work, British football's simply a bit more fun with you around, your team selection / expensive signing will be vindicated, whatever. But that's just because I love him. Not just because that's what encouragement he and indirectly the team would want to hear, I can't see how people can sell themselves so cheap. Because even if some of us respect what 'Tubby' is trying to do (rotation policies, Luiz on the midfield, less tikitaka, more direct passings), NOONE can claim to "love" that guy. Shame on you who licked his hand- we are not Arsenal-fans for chrissake!
Maestrinho
Got so upset that I forgot my point: PLEASE INCLUDE REFERENCE TO WHAT CHANNEL IF ANY (ITV or SKY) THAT WILL BROADCAST THE GAME! (I can only see that it's on Chelsea TV= my local pub will probably not air it)
Maestrinho
LOL Pep has joined Bayern. This has made my day. Some of the Pep lovers will cry a river now. Stage is set for Mourinho to come back to Bridge. This is good.
Keyser Soze
 

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