In the second of today’s three games, Southampton host Chelsea at St. Mary’s. The game is set to kick off at 2:15pm.
Southampton have managed to win just one game from their seven so far, which was away to Crystal Palace. They have picked up two draws too, so they have five points. It’s difficult to predict how the Saints will do this season. I had expected them to do much better than last season, when they were in a relegation battle, and maybe finish in mid-table. They haven’t shown too many signs of being able to manage that as of yet, though. But then again, they don’t look like they’ll be bad enough to go down either.
Will it be one of those seasons where they’re just moving along, picking up points here and there and finish the season without doing anything spectacular? It could well be. Maybe that’s not a bad thing either after how they did last season. The appointment of Mark Hughes seemed a good one after he managed to keep them up last season after a dreadful campaign. He’s hardly going to make the team the most entertaining in the entire division, though, But then again, they won’t be the most boring team in the entire division either. I’m finding it tough to decide what Southampton are. Please forgive me, as I’ll admit I haven’t seen much of them this season. Some top class reporting there.
Today’s game is obviously going to be a tricky one against Chelsea. Maurizio Sarri’s side are unbeaten, and have looked extremely impressive so far. The Saints will have to be at the very top of their game if they’re going to stop the Blues from winning this. I remember watching last season’s encounter between these sides. It was towards the end of the season, and Southampton were desperate for points. St. Mary’s was absolutely hopping as Southampton were winning 2-0. But Chelsea came back and won 3-2, scoring three times in the last 20 minutes. It was heartbreaking stuff for them, but if they were to go into a 2-0 lead today, they would be delighted.
Chelsea have been very impressive so far this season. The transformation of their style of play under Maurizio Sarri in such little time has been incredible. He has managed to get the players playing his way -‘Sarriball’ – in little or no time. Of course, they do still have work to do, and he’ll still want them to improve, but there have been plenty of positives for them to work on so far. He has some players playing absolutely brilliantly: most notably Eden Hazard. The Belgian winger has been in inspired form so far this season: he’s the Premier League’s top scorer with six goals.
The Blues are just two points off the top of the Premier League table, and will go top with a win today. They may only be top for a few hours, as Liverpool and Manchester City play later in the day, but it still shows just how good they’ve been. It may be early in the season, but for a side that finished fifth last season – and a long, long way behind the leaders – it has been very positive. They can’t get carried away just yet though, because there’s a lot of football still to play this season.
Even after their strong start, they can’t begin to get complacent. They may feel like they just have to show up at St. Mary’s and they’ll get the win, but that won’t be the case. Mark Hughes will have his side out there battling for every ball, and they will cause Chelsea problems. Of course, Chelsea should have far too much quality for the Saints today. They should be able to go there and win comfortably, but football rarely works like that. We see surprise results all the time, and we could see another today. It’s only a couple of weeks since Chelsea drew 0-0 at struggling West Ham. Southampton may look at the Irons’ performance and take some confidence from it.
Alex McCarthy, Ryan Bertrand and Mohamed Elyounoussi should return to the squad after injury. Shane Long also has a chance of making it.
Chelsea are doing alright on the injury front.
I don’t know if this will be a good game or not. I feel like it’s one of those that could either be really tight or a walkover. Southampton will obviously be aiming for it to be the former. Chelsea are clear favourites, but we can’t write Southampton off completely. There may be a surprise in store.
The team news will be out at 1:15pm, and you’ll get that up here as well. Enjoy the game.
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