Date:Friday March 29 2013
It`s back to the delights of domestic football this weekend, after the boredom of international football, when Chelsea travel to the South Coast to take on a resurgent Southampton side, now managed by the Argentine, Mauriccio Pochettino. It promises to be a tough game but one, on paper, you`d expect Chelsea to win.
Having jumped above Spurs, in the table, to go third, Chelsea have got a little momentum going and although the fixture list is congested, Rafa Benitez is looking on the positive side when he remarks ahead of the clash with Southampton,
"It is better to have this schedule because it means you are still competing."
"With a top side, the last month in the season is when you fight for trophies. We are still there and it is a positive."
"At this stage of the competition, you have to win games and then you can win trophies. It has to be now, in this period."
There could, quite possibly, be three notable absentees from the Southampton side for this fixture, the influential Adam Lallana, the teenage defender Luke Shaw and the defender Jos Hooiveld, are all struggling for fitness. But there could be a debut for their latest acquisition Vegard Forren.
Southampton`s top scorer recently signed a new contract at St Marys and we`re all perfectly aware of the danger he presents.
Rafa Benitez takes his squad to the south-coast mindful of a very hectic fixture list that will see us play four times in eight days.
The only player definitely out is young Oriol Romeu, however there are doubts about Gary Cahill and Ramires, both of whom couldn`t fulfil international commitments.
With qualification for the Champions League, next season, a priority, we expect Rafa to field his strongest eleven and worry about Monday lunchtime, against Manchester United, once the final whistle goes on Saturday.
The young Belgian has rediscovered his early season form whilst also marrying it with a goal streak. Could Eden be our match-winner?
The last time we travelled to St Marys, for an FA Cup tie, we emerged 5-1 winners. Since then though, we`ve played them at Stamford Bridge whereby the Saints came from 2-0 down to snatch a very creditable 2-2 draw.
In the last seven meetings between the sides Chelsea are unbeaten, boasting four wins and three draws.
If you are looking for when Southampton last beat us on their own turf, it was back in 2000when we lost in stoppage time.
Our officials for this encounter are:- Referee - M. Atkinson Assistant - R. West Assistant - H. Lennard Fourth Official - G. Ward
Southampton have carved out some decent results, at home, particularly a recent demolition of Liverpool. However, they may be wary of the fact that despite taking the lead against us in the FA Cup, they were eventually crushed 5-1. But we`re not expecting a similar result this time, instead we reckon we may have to come from behind again but the class our midfield has will see us win 3-1.
As the fixtures continue to come thick and fast, we follow the trip to St Marys with a visit from Manchester United on Monday, as we continue our defence of the FA Cup in a quarter-final replay.
Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!
Date:Friday March 29 2013
Maribor Are No Mugs! (Monday October 20 2014)
Courtois Recalls Cech Words of Wisdom (Monday October 20 2014)
Jose Tells Us Who Is Available and Who Isn`t! (Monday October 20 2014)
What We Learned Last Week (Monday October 20 2014)
Ancelotti Was Happy at Chelsea (Monday October 20 2014)
Mourinho on Champions League Rule Change (Monday October 20 2014)
Name the Starting XI - Maribor (h) (Monday October 20 2014)
Two More Rule Changes in the Offing! (Sunday October 19 2014)
I`ll Fight You for Him! (Sunday October 19 2014)
Jose Suggests Same Again? (Sunday October 19 2014)
|2. Man City||8||5||2||1||+10||17|
|4. West Ham||8||4||1||3||+4||13|
|6. Man Utd||7||3||2||2||+3||11|
|A Look Back to A Saintly Beginning
» Southampton : 20/10/2014 18:37:00
|Ref Watch: Moss to officiate Southampton v Stoke
» Stoke : 20/10/2014 18:25:00
|Millwall loan deal for Wilkinson
» Stoke : 20/10/2014 18:09:00
|Young Duo Leave On Loan
» Leicester City : 20/10/2014 18:04:00
|Butland joins Derby on loan
» Stoke : 20/10/2014 18:02:00