Chelsea v Southampton - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 1st December 2013 at 16:10. Venue: Stamford Bridge, London.

Odds: Chelsea 4/7, Draw 10/3, Southampton 6/1

Last season: 2-2

Preview & injury news

Chelsea are currently four points behind Arsenal at the top of the table going into this game and have qualified for the knock-out stages of the Champions League. You'd think they would be on a high but their form has been a little inconsistent of late and that is something that Jose Mourinho will want to address.

Southampton lost in their last outing against Arsenal having made an impressive start to the season and are still right in the mix towards the top of the table, in fifth position having taken 22 points from their first 12 games, and are currently sitting two points behind this weekend's opponents.

On the injury front, there are two players they have concerns over, aside from Marco Van Ginkel who is out for the rest of the season. Samuel Eto'o limped off in Chelsea's Champions League loss to Basel in midweek with a groin injury and David Luiz has a knee problem.

For Southampton, they have been pretty fortunate on the injury front up until now but they have a few worries ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge with highly rated left-back Luke Shaw struggling with a thigh injury and Jack Cork has an ankle problem. Dejan Lovren has been struggling with an illness of late but he should be part of the squad to take on Chelsea, which will be a welcome boost to a side that has a proud defensive record so far this season.

Key stats

Oscar is Chelsea's top scorer in the league this season with five goals.

Rickie Lambert is Southampton's top scorer in the league this season with four goals.

Chelsea had 55% possession in their last match, a 3-0 win away to West Ham United.

Southampton had 51% possession in their last match, a 2-0 defeat away to Arsenal.

5 players to watch

Fernando Torres - Torres returned to first team action in the week after a short period out injured when he was looking sharp and threatening to find the net with a degree of regularity. Just when Eto'o was starting to find his feet leading the Chelsea attack, Torres will probably need to hit the ground running on his return.

Artur Boruc - Having been beaten by a fellow goalkeeper in one game, and then dropping a clanger the next, Artur Boruc could really do with an error free afternoon at the Bridge. The game will be difficult enough without their goalkeeper making errors, so can Southampton's man between the sticks put the last two games behind him?

Oscar - The young Brazilian seems to be enjoying life under Mourinho. A lot of the time he is causing problems for the opposition defence and is the club's top scorer in the league this season. Expect Oscar to have a big part to play in this game. 

Rickie Lambert - Lambert got goals in both of the league games last season against Chelsea, and both of them proved crucial as the Saints managed to take four points off the Blues in their two encounters. Can he find the net for this season's surprise package again?

John Obi Mikel - Mikel has been praised highly by his manager of late as he has become more and more of a key cog in the Chelsea midfield lately. A good performance from Mikel will be required in what is likely to be a fiercely competitive part of the pitch.

Last time they met

Southampton 2-1 Chelsea - Premier League, March 2013

Chelsea wasn't the only big scalp that Southampton managed to take after Mauricio Pochettino arrived at the club. Having seen off both Liverpool and Manchester City before, they knew they could upset Chelsea and they did exactly that. Though Chelsea made seven changes because of fixture congestion, it was a side that Rafa Benitez thought should do the job for the visitors. Jay Rodriguez put Southampton in front midway through the first half with a composed finish following a flowing move. Ten minutes later, John Terry headed home a corner but the Blues weren't on terms for long as Rickie Lambert grabbed the winner two minutes later with a very well taken free-kick. The result eased the relegation fears at St Mary's, whilst Chelsea made things a little more difficult for themselves to get into the Champions League. 

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