Match to be played on Wednesday 1st January 2014 at 15:00. Venue: St. Mary's Stadium, Southampton.
Jose Mourinho and his team should be full of confidence following the win against Liverpool yesterday, which allowed them to keep up with Arsenal and Manchester City near the top of the league.
Mourinho does have a couple of injury worries to deal with, but Chelsea could still go in with a very strong team for the match, similar to this.
GK – Petr Cech
One of the most consistent goalkeepers since he moved to the Premier League. He’s reliable, he’s organised and he’s extremely good when it comes to controlling the defence playing in front of him.
RB – Cesar Azpilicueta
With Branislav Ivanovic going off against Liverpool with a knee problem, there is a chance for Azpilicueta to slot in at his more normal right-back position. He’s been in good form for the Blues so he should be confident.
CB – Gary Cahill
With David Luiz suspended, Gary Cahill should continue through the heart of the defence. He’s been a good servant to Chelsea this season and he should see it as a chance to prove why he should be a regular centre back for the rest of the season.
CB – John Terry
It’s a huge ask for Terry to play again so soon after the Liverpool match but he should be ready and determined. If he tires later in the game then Mourinho can always make the switch and take him off.
LB – Ashley Cole
If Azpilicueta reverts to right-back then Cole will have to come back in on the left hand side of defence. Ryan Bertrand’s injury means Cole will have a chance to make up for what saw him being dropped in the first place.
RM – Andre Schurrle
There could be a significant rejig of the Chelsea midfield with Schurrle coming in on the right. It’s a position he’s played well in for Chelsea this season and he’ll be fresh which is important.
DM – John Obi Mikel
Mikel didn’t start against Liverpool because of illness but if he’s fighting fit then he has to start this game. The Saints have several players who can hurt Chelsea so it’s important they have some holding in the middle.
CM – Ramires
Ramires was suspended against Liverpool but he should come back into the side at the expense of Frank Lampard. He’ll be fresh and he should thrive on the chance of playing in a more advanced central position.
AM – Oscar
Oscar didn’t do anything wrong against Liverpool, which means he’d be very unlucky to be dropped for this fixture. He should play at the top of the midfield, in behind the main striker.
LM – Eden Hazard
Hazard had a very good game against Liverpool so he should continue down the left. He’s playing better than ever out wide and he’s proven how effective he can be cutting inside to rain shots towards goal.
ST – Samuel Eto’o
Eto’o will probably continue in attack following his goal against Liverpool. He’s a very savvy and experienced operator who shouldn’t find the occasion of playing a high pressing Southampton side too unfamiliar.