Three successive wins suggest Chelsea are finding their feet under Frank Lampard's tutorship. Can the Blues survive a tricky Super Sunday trip to Southampton? Mark O'Haire shares his betting opinion.
"A huge 11/15 (73%) of Southampton’s home outings under Ralph Hasenhuttl have seen this selection provide profit, with six matches even surpassing the Over 3.5 Goals barrier"
Southampton v Chelsea
Sunday October 6, 14:00
Live on Sky Sports Football
Southampton unrewarded at Spurs
Southampton felt aggrieved not to take at least a point from last weekend's trip to Tottenham. Saints went down 2-1 in the capital having played against 10 men for an hour; Ralph Hasenhuttl's outfit enjoyed more possession, won both the shot and on-target counts, as well as the Expected Goals (xG) battle without reward.
Southampton's only goal of the game arrived via Danny Ings, who inexplicably dispossessed Spurs stopper Hugo Lloris inside his own six-yard area. Lloris went someway to redeeming himself for his howler with two excellent second-half saves from James Ward-Prowse's free-kick, and Maya Yoshida's header, as Saints pressed for a possible equaliser or more.
The visitors lost defender Cedric Soares in the warm-up - Jannik Vestergaard was promoted from the bench - but took the game to Spurs and can be pleased with their overall efforts. Without striker Che Adams and winger Moussa Djenepo, Saints relied on Nathan Redmond's pace to cause problems, although Adams is expected to be back in contention here.
Chelsea finding form
Chelsea followed us last weekend's convincing 2-0 triumph against Brighton with a well-earned 2-1 success at Lille on Wednesday night to get their Champions League campaign back on track. Willian's excellent second-half volley gave Blues top honours in France after the home side's hot-shot Victor Osimhen had cancelled out Tammy Abraham's opener.
Frank Lampard set the capital club up in a 3-4-2-1 formation as he handed starts to 19-year-old Reece James and Fikayo Tomori. Four of Chelsea's starting XI were playing with Championship clubs last season but the Blues were still the better side and deserved victors - Jorginho hitting a post and Mason Mount being denied from close range after the break.
However, the Premier League outfit have recorded a solitary shutout in 2019/20 and Lille were a threat throughout. Kepa Arrizabalaga was busy between the sticks, although Lampard admitted post-match that he was very happy with his team's display. N'Golo Kante returned to the side in midweek but Emerson Palmieri and Antonio Rudiger remain out.
Blues do not appeal at odds-on
Southampton have won only two of their last 20 Premier League meetings with Chelsea (W2-D6-L12) and are winless in the last seven (W0-D1-6) head-to-heads. Saints have been beaten in each of their last four St Mary's encounters with the Blues, as well as nine of their most recent 12 duels with the West Londoners on the south coast (W1-D2-L9).
Southampton [4.10] appear to have found playing away from home a much more comfortable experience than performing at St Mary's this season. Ralph Hasenhuttl's charges have won just one point here - compared to six away, however, the hosts have arguably deserved more from defeats against Liverpool (1-2) and Bournemouth (1-3).
Chelsea [1.92] have a midweek trip to France to overcame and the extra travel and toil could hinder the Blues prospects here. Nevertheless, Frank Lampard's team look to be improving week-on-week, showing an impressive capacity for adaptability and versatility. Even so, concerns surrounding the team's defence are valid and the visitors are unappealing at odds-on.
Goals forecast for St Mary's showdown
Southampton have found the net in each of their last 17 home Premier League games - their best top-flight run since 1981. Unfortunately for the Saints, the home side have kept their sheets clean just once in that sequence and therefore it's difficult to dismiss the possibility of a goal-heavy game on Super Sunday, especially when viewing Chelsea' record.
Only Watford (33) have conceded more Premier League away goals in 2019 than Chelsea (27) and the Blues have shipped in all bar one encounter across all competitions this term. The visitors have played with a freedom that's led to a series of high-scoring contests, notching in every league game since their unfortunate 4-0 thrashing on the opening weekend.
Over 2.5 Goals is available to support at [1.76] and looks well worth our interest having already landed in nine of the duos combined 14 Premier League fixtures. A huge 11/15 (73%) of Southampton's home outings under Ralph Hasenhuttl have seen this selection provide profit, with six matches even surpassing the Over 3.5 Goals barrier.
Mark's 2019/20 Profit/Loss
Staked: 30.00 pts
Returned: 33.09 pts
P/L: +3.09 pts
Back Over 2.5 Goals at [1.76] in Southampton v Chelsea