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Chelsea v Southampton Preview


Stamford Bridge



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.

Date:Tuesday January 15 2013
Time: 6:17PM

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Am scared of this clash,especially when the venue is at the bridge..our home form is nothin to be proud of
16/01/2013 12:38:00
best of luck blues and hope Ba scores !!!
Blue Bezerkas
16/01/2013 13:03:00
I pray torres gets injured..i am sick of the sight of him
16/01/2013 13:12:00
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....
16/01/2013 13:20:00
If Torres starts tonights game, i think there'll be a revolt at Stamford Bridge...Rafa is not that naive.
16/01/2013 13:42:00
Mata better play tonight and play well. He is my fantasy league captain lol
Slippy G-19
16/01/2013 13:43:00
What a stupid comment about wishing someone to get injured. You folks are crazy!!!!
16/01/2013 13:44:00
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?
16/01/2013 13:48:00
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.
16/01/2013 13:48:00
16/01/2013 14:08:00
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
16/01/2013 14:10:00
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
16/01/2013 14:18:00
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.
16/01/2013 14:37:00
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.
16/01/2013 14:38:00
hope we win this, and hope Ba plays For 80mins and Poorres 10mins
16/01/2013 14:46:00
I wonder why the board is slotting back to dormancy as regards the transfer windows when it is clear enough we some reinforcements.
16/01/2013 15:00:00
Ba will start today and Torres will start against Arsenal since Chelsea vs Arsenal is "tasty encounter".
16/01/2013 15:23:00
I prefer Torres to start today and Ba against Arsenal and Swansea.
16/01/2013 15:30:00
*typo*...need reforcements
16/01/2013 15:45:00
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.
16/01/2013 15:53:00
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