Premier League Preview: Southampton v. Chelsea

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  • The Saints have only won one of their last nine Premier League games against Chelsea (D3 L5), but that was in this fixture last season.
  • 37% of the goals Chelsea have conceded this season have come from set-pieces, the highest proportion in the Premier League (excl. penalties).
  • No Chelsea striker has scored a Premier League away goal since December 2012.

After losing at Southampton last year it’s going to be ‘game on!’ when Chelsea visit St. Mary’s on Wednesday (10:00am ET on NBCSN and Live Extra).

Chelsea come into the game unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches since losing 2-3 to Stoke City on December 7th. After disposing of Crystal Palace 2-1 and strategically drawing 0-0 with Arsenal at the Emirates, Jose Mourinho’s side beat Swansea 1-0 and Liverpool 2-1 in a thriller.

Despite the strong form and sitting 3rd in the table just two points adrift of leaders Arsenal, Chelsea have struggled to score goals of late with Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and (to an extent) Demba Ba being blamed. Many believe the drought will prompt Mourinho to go shopping in the January’s transfer market meaning the game at Southampton represents a fantastic opportunity for the current trio to prove their worth.

Despite being beaten by Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge last term, Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be boosted by their 2-1 victory over the Blues last March at St. Mary’s. That match saw goals by Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez, who has been in sensational form scoring five goals in his last seven matches.

Over the last two months the injury bug has taken a chunk out of Southampton, who were the toast of the league in a Top 4 spot at the start of the season. But in their last eight league contests, the Saints have won only once, a 3-0 win at Cardiff City. They’ll be boosted by the return of midfield stalwart Morgan Schneiderlin but will need to cope with a number of notable absences, including Artur Boruc (hand), Victor Wanyama (fractured leg) and Guly do Prado (knee). Dani Osvaldo is also a question mark due to illness.

For Chelsea, Ramires is set to return after suspension but Frank Lampard (muscular injury), Branislav Ivanovic (knee) and Marco van Ginkel (knee) are all out, as is David Luiz through yellow card accumulation.

What They’re Saying

Chelsea defender John Terry: “It’s going to be tough because they’re very good at home and it proved a difficult game here (Stamford Bridge) when they scored pretty early. They are a good footballing side, very much like Liverpool, who try and play out from the back so we’re expecting a tough game.”

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino: “It’s clear that Chelsea are a top side, a great team. They have great, talented players. We learned a lot from that game (at Chelsea). It was a very competitive game and it’s going to be another competitive game against them this time around. . . . We know them well and we’re more than aware that we’re going to be facing a very tough team.”

Prediction

The return of Schneiderlin will be huge for the Saints and, looking at the key absentees for Chelsea, I think this could be the upset of the day. Southampton wins by a goal.

VIDEO: Lionel Messi scores stunning goal

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Lionel Messi has started the UEFA Champions League campaign as he means to go.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores

By scoring a sublime free kick to put Barcelona ahead against PSV Eindhoven.

In their Group B opener at the Nou Camp, Ousmane Dembele was fouled and Messi stepped up to curl home a perfect free kick into the top corner.

Take a look at the video below to watch the first goal of the 2018-19 UCL group stage being scored.


UCL, LIVE – Inter v Tottenham, Barcelona v PSG

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The UEFA Champions League group stage is back for the 2018-19 season, with some early kick offs (12:55 p.m. ET) in Group B serving up mouthwatering clashes.

It is okay to drool over the UCL games instead of your lunch this Tuesday. Honest.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Tottenham Hotspur head to the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium to take on Inter Milan as Mauricio Pochettino has raised some eyebrows with his squad selection following back-to-back defeats in the Premier League. Inter have had a tough start in Serie A, winning just once and losing twice (against Sassuolo and Parma) in their opening four games, but the likes of Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi start in attack as they look to inflict more misery on Spurs.

Elsewhere in Group B, Barcelona host reigning Dutch champs PSV Eindhoven at the Nou Camp with Lionel Messi and Co. starting off as one of the favorites to lift the trophy in Madrid next May. PSV and Mexico star Hirving Lozano will be seen as a huge threat to Barca, as the Dutch giants aim for an upset.

Click on the link above to follow all the action live, while we will keep you up to date with all of the UCL across Europe right here at Pro Soccer Talk.

While here are the starting lineups for all four teams.


Inter Milan v Tottenham

Barcelona v PSV

Peruvian match resumes after gun shots outside stadium

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LIMA, Peru (AP) A Peruvian soccer league match resumed on Monday after being suspended a day earlier because of fighting between fans of the same team.

The country’s soccer association said the last 25 minutes of the match between Alianza Lima and Sporting Cristal would be played behind closed doors.

Sporting Cristal was leading 2-1 Sunday when the match was suspended. Four people were wounded by gunshots outside the stadium during the match.

Peruvian Interior Minister Mauro Medina says the incident happened after rival groups of Alianza Lima fans clashed with each other. Police used tear gas to stop the fight.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Premier League player Power Rankings

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Premier League player Power Rankings are back after a frantic Week 5 of the 2018-19 season.

[ MORE: Full Power Rankings archive ]

With a bevvy of fine individual displays after the international break, we have plenty of top talents to choose from.

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League and based on them actually playing in the previous Matchweek. If they didn’t play due to injury or suspension, they aren’t going to make this list. Simple.

Let us know in the comments section below if you agree with the selections.


  1. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – Even
  2. Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool – New entry
  3. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – New entry
  4. Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth) – New entry
  5. Marko Arnautovic (West Ham) – New entry
  6. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Down 4
  7. Romelu Lukaku (Man United) – Down 4
  8. Jorginho (Chelsea) – Down 2
  9. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – New entry
  10. Raul Jimenez (Wolves) – Up 5
  11. N'Golo Kante (Chelsea) – New entry
  12. Ruben Neves (Wolves) – Even
  13. Raheem Sterling (Man City) – Even
  14. James Milner (Liverpool) – New entry
  15. Glenn Murray (Brighton) – Up 4
  16. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) – New entry
  17. Willian (Chelsea) – New entry
  18. David De Gea (Man United ) – New entry
  19. Josh King (Bournemouth) – New entry
  20. Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham) – New entry