Chelsea will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Premier League after two successive draws. They face a difficult trip to Southampton, who are capable of earning a result against one of the big clubs. They will be competing for different things this season, but any one team is capable of beating any other in the Premier League. The home side will take confidence from West Ham United who managed to take a point against the Blues and could have earned all three on another day.
It has been a mixed start to the season for Southampton, as they sit just above the relegation zone. There have been positive signs for them in their performances, but a lack of cutting edge and game management has hurt them at times. Mark Hughes has a long way to go before he wins all of the supporters around to his appointment. The talent is there in the squad and it is up to the manager to find a system that gets the best out of them.
After a slow summer, Chelsea have been one of the surprise packages of the season. They have quickly taken to the style of play that has been implemented by Maurizio Sarri and they look to be title contenders. Although few will expect them to lift the trophy, it is encouraging that they are competing at the top of the division again. As the season progresses, it is likely that they will improve and they could emerge as one of the best teams to watch in the country.
Southampton have failed to score in their last two Premier League matches.
Eden Hazard scored six goals from his first eight shots on target in the Premier League this season, underlining his accuracy.
It has been a good start to the season for Danny Ings as he looks to rebuild his career on the South Coast. His time with Liverpool was frustrating due to injuries and a lack of opportunity, but at the age of 26, he still has many years ahead of him. Southampton have struggled to find a regular source of goals during the last two or three seasons, but Ings could be the answer. He has already contributed three goals in the Premier League. Meanwhile, he scored a crucial goal during the week to help the club progress in the Carabao Cup. Over the course of the season, he will be looking to enhance his reputation and remind the nation of his talent by performing against the very best. This weekend will provide an opportunity to do that.
The Belgian international has been exceptional this season and is emerging as the best player in the league once again. He has always been in the discussion, and he is taking his game to a new level under Maurizio Sarri. The Italian coach is known for encouraging his attacking players to show flair and express themselves. That has certainly been the case with Hazard and he is thriving as a result. The 27-year-old has contributed six goals and two assists in the Premier League. His performances against Liverpool in back-to-back games showed that he can deliver on the biggest stage. Given Southampton have struggled to keep clean sheets, Hazard will be the man to watch again this weekend.
Shane Long is unlikely to be available for the home side. This will mean that Danny Ings could be partnered by Charlie Austin if Hughes decides to play two strikers. The rest of the squad will be available.
Sarri will have a fully fit squad to choose from. Pedro could return to the Premier League starting eleven after Willian failed to impress last weekend. The rest of the team is probably going to be unchanged from last weekend.
It is difficult to see anything other than a Chelsea win. The Blues have been excellent this season and they should have more than enough to dispatch Southampton this weekend. The home side will be hoping for a good performance at home and if they manage to score, they could earn a shock result. Chelsea have been far from formidable at the back. That said, the firepower in attack and the form of Hazard should be enough to earn the visitors another three points.
Southampton 0-2 Chelsea