- Chelsea winners of 4-straight vs. Saints
- Blues won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Dec. 16
- Chelsea leads all-time 42W-28D-28L
Southampton needs points badly as the relegation-threatened side welcomes Chelsea to St. Mary’s in the first of two-straight meetings in a pair of competitions (Watch live at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The two sides will meet in the FA Cup semifinal next week at Wembley Stadium.
Southampton climbs out of the drop zone with a win and a Crystal Palace home derby loss versus Brighton and Hove Albion.
The time for moral victories is almost gone for Saints, but they were very good against Arsenal in a loss last weekend.
Chelsea drew West Ham United, and is in danger of dropping out of fifth place. Arsenal is three points behind the Blues, who are 10 points back of Spurs and Liverpool in the race for two Top Four spots.
What they’re saying
Saints boss Mark Hughes on facing Chelsea: “Confidence hasn’t been diminished in any way, shape or form. We’re ready to go. We’ve had another good week and we’ll get the benefit of that. It’s a busy week and one that will test us, but we’re all ready for it and ready for the challenge.”
Chelsea’s Antonio Conte on facing Saints twice in one week: “I have the possibility to rotate the defensive line and when I see the chance to let someone like Andreas Christensen rest, it is right to make changes. I have four centre-backs and from now until the end of the season, I will give everyone the chance to play.”
Saints will be cagey and could nick a point from a substandard Chelsea outfit, but we’ll trumpet the Blues as 2-1 away winners.