It only took a few weeks for the Chelsea attack to get going. Raheem Sterling scored a brace as the Blues brushed aside Leicester City last weekend, but Thomas Tuchel will have depth issues as he looks to replace Conor Gallagher in his already thin midfield. Mason Mount can partner Jorginho, but after Mount was withdrawn against Leicester, can he be trusted with more of a box-to-box role on short rest in Tuesday’s match at Southampton?
With how the Saints defended against Manchester United, they could cause trouble if they’re able to isolate Sterling from the rest of the attack and hit Chelsea on the counter. Without N’Golo Kante, the Blues are suspect in defense, missing their key clog in the middle against a team desperate to show something in attack.
Here are our storylines, how you can watch the match, and more:
How to watch Southampton vs Chelsea live Stream
Kick-off: 2:45 pm ET, Tuesday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium
Saints are improving and they were very unlucky not to get anything from their home game against Man United on Saturday. Che Adams had a few good chances, while Saints’ other opportunities just fell to the wrong players and they could have easily had a penalty kick when Scott McTominay handled the ball in the penalty box three times in the space of a few seconds. Aside from that, Ralph Hasenhuttl was very happy with how his young side is gelling.
For Thomas Tuchel, he had to watch Chelsea’s nerve-shredding 2-1 win against Leicester from the stands as he served his one-game ban for his red card and the scenes at the final whistle against Tottenham. The saw his side lose Conor Gallagher to a red card in the first half but Raheem Sterling struck twice (and the post) and the 10 men battled hard to hold off Leicester for a big win following their defeat at Leeds the weekend before.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Saints’ young trio of Gavin Bazunu in goal, Armel Bella-Kotchap in defense, and Romeo Lavia in midfield look like inspired signings and at 20, 20, and 18 years of age respectively, what a bright future they have in the game.
Raheem Sterling scored his first Chelsea goals last time out and he looks to be stepping up as a leader for this team, while Reece James continues to have a fine start to the season as he’s strong defensively and is delivering dangerous crosses galore.
Southampton team news, injuries, lineup options
Saints only have one injury problem and that is Chelsea academy product Tino Livramento. He continues to make his comeback from a long-term knee injury and he should be available after the World Cup is over. Hasenhuttl could bring Oriol Romeu, Stuart Armstrong, and Sekou Mara into the starting lineup.
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
The Blues will be without the suspended Conor Gallagher but Kalidou Koulibaly is back after serving his one-game ban for being sent off at Leeds. N’Golo Kante is out with a hamstring issue, while Marcos Alonso isn’t available as he’s still completing his move to Barcelona. The will have to decide whether or not to rotate his starting lineup given the toll of playing down a man for most of their win against Leicester.
Southampton: Valentino Livramento is a long-term absentee for Ralph Hasenhuttl, but outside of him, the rest of the team will be available for selection. Jan Bednarek has also been linked to a move to Aston Villa to replace Diego Carlos, so he would likely be held out of the action as well if that move materializes.
Chelsea: Without Kante and Gallagher, Mateo Kovacic’s return from injury couldn’t come at a better time as ball progression through the center of the pitch has been an issue. Tuchel’s wing-backs have been strong but their crosses from wide turn into a predictable plan when Chelsea moves forward. Kalidou Koulibaly’s return from suspension will also help them push forward but Southampton will be prepared to protect St. Mary’s Stadium. Since allowing four goals on the opening day of the season to Spurs, Southampton has only allowed four goals in their last three matches while collecting four points.
The Blues will find it difficult to break down the Saints for the most part, as Sterling will find space for an eventual winner. Pick: Chelsea 2, Southampton 1