Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Southampton

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  • Clubs staged pair of 1-1 draws last season
  • Chelsea 38W-28D-27L all-time
  • No Costa for Chelsea

Stamford Bridge is the scene for Saturday’s prime match-up between bottom-half Chelsea and a Southampton side that is struggling to repeat last season’s table heroics (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra).

The Blues rallied for a point against Newcastle last weekend, but failed to build a winning streak after a 2-0 win over Arsenal. Then, Chelsea fell at Porto midweek in the UEFA Champions League.

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Things haven’t been going much better for Saints, though they were impressive in a 3-1 win over Swansea City. Ronald Koeman‘s crew has drawn relative strugglers Watford and West Bromwich Albion in addition to losses against Everton and Manchester United.

Southampton hasn’t won at the Bridge since 2002, but their nine points are good for 10th in the table, a point ahead of Chelsea. Will they be ahead of the Blues at the end of Saturday, or will Chelsea overcome their midweek legs?

What they’re saying

Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho on the Blues’ struggles: “The players, when they make a mistake, they know and they feel,” he said. “We speak openly, no prima donnas. When you make a mistake you have to speak about it. I call it ‘coaching’.”

Ryan Bertrand on facing his ex-teammates: “It’s possibly a bigger game for them than it is for us, considering last year was probably a bigger game for us. We were on a good run and we really wanted to perform well and keep it going, whereas now they are in a sticky patch and we’re going there full of confidence. It should be an interesting game. They are the champions and they have fantastic individuals. It’s still early days in respect to them and I’m sure they will pull it together soon and everyone will be talking about them again.”

Prediction

Mourinho won’t be happy to have lost to Porto, but he was able to save Eden Hazard. That could be the difference on Saturday. Even without Costa, we’re pegging the Blues to creep closer to the top four with a 2-0 win.