Three matchups for Chelsea to fear versus Southampton - including Tadic and Mane

Sadio Mané

Can these three Southampton players cause Chelsea problems at Stamford Bridge on Saturday?

Chelsea start the weekend eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United and are coming off the back of a 2-1 loss at FC Porto in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.

Jose Mourinho's side desperately need to get into some sort of form and a winning streak to prevent themselves falling further behind both Manchester United and City at the top.

Southampton won't be an easy take for the Blues, a team they split the points with last season in two 1-1 draws.

The Saints have made an inconsistent start themselves, but were 3-1 winners over Swansea City last weekend and did not play midweek to give them extra preparation in comparison to the hosts.

Here are three Southampton players who could prove to be a match winner versus the Blues:

Dusan Tadic vs Branislav Ivanovic

An all-Serbian affair down the Chelsea right sees Southampton playmaker Dusan Tadic up against out-of-form Branislav Ivanovic. The Chelsea defender has actually been handed the captain's armband since John Terry dropped to the bench, but his performances have been far short of where they need to be.

Tadic has been involved in three goals in his six Premier League matches so far this season (two goals, one assist) and creates numerous chances per game (3.7).

The Chelsea right-back has already struggled to deal with preventing crosses from that side this season, something Tadic is very good at. Jefferson Montero, Aleksandar Kolarov and Callum McManaman have all had much the better of him this season.

Sadio Mane vs Cesar Azpilicueta

On the opposite flank, Southampton have a pacey forward in Sadio Mane, who is likely to line up against Cesar Azpilicueta on Saturday.

The Senegal international scored versus Chelsea last season and has already been involved in four goals to start the new campaign (one goal, three assists). Mane loves running at defenders, as well as cutting inside.

Azpilicueta's stronger foot is actually his right, so it will be interesting to see if any inside runs favour the defender.

Graziano Pelle vs Gary Cahill

Chelsea have conceded 2+ goals in six of their seven Premier League games this season - regardless of what combination of centre-backs Jose Mourinho uses this season, it's not working for him.

Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma are the latest partnership, but it will be interesting to see if John Terry is recalled to deal with the aerial prowess of Graziano Pelle.

Whilst Terry has been criticised for a lack of pace this season, the Southampton striker hardly has an abundance of it himself.

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