Chelsea returns to EPL action with a home clash against Southampton this afternoon.
The seventh-placed Blues went into the fortnight on a high after a thumping 4-0 victory over London rivals Crystal Palace that featured a goal on his maiden start from £45million summer signing Ben Chilwell and a top-flight debut for new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, as well as a brace from Jorginho.
Chelsea will be favorites to overcome a Southampton side that have won two and lost two of their opening four Leagues matches this term, securing back-to-back victories over Burnley and West Brom prior to the international break.
Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell is fit despite withdrawing from England duty, but Edouard Mendy misses out after injuring his thigh in training with Senegal.
Thiago Silva will be rested, while Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech could both feature, with the latter in contention for the first time.
Another new signing, Inrahim Diallo, is available for his debut.
Moussa Djenepo and Mohammed Salisu are both ruled out, while Stuart Armstrong will not be considered, although he is back in training after a period of self-isolation following a positive coronavirus test.
- Chelsea lost 2-0 at home to Southampton last season but have won seven of the past nine league meetings (D1, L1).
- Southampton could record back-to-back away league wins against the Blues for the first time since 1985.
- Chelsea have not conceded a Premier League home goal against a side from outside the established top six since losing 2-0 to Southampton last December.
- The Blues have won seven of their past eight league games at Stamford Bridge, scoring 18 goals in total and conceding just four.
- They could keep a clean sheet in consecutive top-flight matches for the first time under Frank Lampard.
- Olivier Giroud has scored seven league goals against Southampton, with each of the last four coming as a substitute – the only player to have scored five Premier League goals against a particular opponent from the bench is Julian Joachim versus Derby.
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- Southampton can claim three consecutive league victories for the first time since winning their final four games of the 2015-16 season under Ronald Koeman.
- They could also record three successive top-flight clean sheets, a feat they last achieved between September and October 2016.
- Saints have collected 20 points away from home in 2020 – only Liverpool have fared better.
- Danny Ings has scored 13 Premier League goals in 2020, a tally exceeded only by Mohamed Salah.