Chelsea cannot let Champions League exit hinder Premier League progression against Southampton

Chelsea v Southampton

Sunday 15 March, 1.30pm @ Stamford Bridge

Chelsea must bounce back from their ugly midweek Champions League exit with a win against Southampton tomorrow if they are to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.

The Blues were forced to extra time by Paris Saint-Germaine on Wednesday, only for Thiago Silva’s late header to send them out on away goals.

The mental hangover from that game may prove more difficult to shake off than the physical one, but Jose Mourinho’s side will need to be at full strength tomorrow.

Top-four hopefuls Southampton are the only side to hold a superior defensive record over Chelsea in the league, having conceded two goals less.

They have also won five of their last six games on the road, having only shipped 10 away league goals this season – five fewer than any other team.

While Southampton’s away record is impressive, Chelsea’s home one is imperious and unblemished in the league this season.

Both teams have suffered a dip in form recently, with two wins each in their last five games, although Chelsea have scored seven in that time and the Saints just two.

Chelsea have also scored in their last 14 matches, having only failed to do so once in 28 league games so far.

However, key players like Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have not found the pre-Christmas form that made them the league’s top scorer and top assist-maker respectively.

With 12 goals in all competitions, Southampton’s Graziano Pelle will pose a large threat although having scored in five of his last seven league starts, Sadio Mane could be the man to watch.

After their Champions League exit and with no other competitions to distract them, the league leaders can focus solely on retaining their position until the season’s close.

While their performance against PSG lacked rhythm and urgency, their meeting with Southampton offers them an immediate chance to reenergise their campaign.

Star Man: Eden Hazard

Danger Man: Sadio Mane

Last Meeting: Southampton 1 – 1 Chelsea, 28 December 2014 @ St Mary’s

Picture courtesy of brent flanders, with thanks


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