WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) looks to the South coast for a winner on Sunday afternoon. Southampton are flying under Claude Puel but the last team to with at St. Mary’s was Chelsea, which way does this one go?
Southampton v Chelsea | Sunday 16:00 | Sky Sports 1
Saints are in fine form. David Moyes played his strongest XI at St. Mary’s in midweek but for a couple of omissions; Jermain Defoe and John O’Shea rested, whilst Claude Puel rang the changes. Unsurprisingly it lead to a dodgy performance but they got the 1-0 win to put them through to the quarter finals of the EFL Cup.
Chelsea went into their game against West Ham on a high but that came crashing down with a 2-1 loss in game marred by violence. That defeat means they can only win two competitions now; the FA Cup and the Premier League.
Against Manchester United, Chelsea looked like the team that won the Premier League in 2014/15. Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were linking up wonderfully well but other midfielders were also getting involved in the final third. N’Golo Kante opened his Blues account with a sublime finish after a composed move.
Chelsea though were perhaps a little flattered by the 4-0 scoreline. Manchester United had 16 attempts on goal. Antonio Valencia caused all sorts of problems down the right wing but aside from him there were no standout performances for the Red Devils. On another day with other players on their game it could have been a different result.
Chelsea certainly look to have adjusted to the 3-4-3 formation that Antonio Conte employs now. That was their third successive Premier League clean sheet. Whether they extend that against a rampant Southampton side though remains to be seen.
Charlie Austin is in great form as mentioned in recent previews. He’s being complimented very nicely by Nathan Redmond who bagged himself a goal against Manchester City last weekend to further frustrate Pep Guardiola with a 1-1 draw.
Austin has one goal in three appearances against the Blues. I just can’t write a preview on Saints without tipping him at the moment; he’s 2/1 to score anytime with Marathonbet. With 234 career goals in just 382 games, averaging a goal every 1.6 games, I’ll back him to score at that price against anyone.
Saints in general have really impressed me. They manage to create tonnes of chances at home. They’ve had 93 shots in just four Premier League home games this season, that’s more than anyone and to put it into perspective that’s two more than Man City who’ve played a game more.
33 of those were also on target which is a league best that they share with Liverpool. Chelsea are of course dangerous; they’ve had 72 away shots this season, that’s 18 per game, the best in the league and they were also the last side to win at St. Mary’s but that was way back in February; that’s how good Southampton are these days; unbeaten in 14 at home.
Based on all this shots data I have to take on Conte’s men here. Saints are the underdogs in this one at 11/5 but I’ll get the draw onside by backing them on the +0.0 Asian Handicap line at 14/11 with Betvictor. The same bet as double chance.
That midweek defeat in the EFL Cup might have upset the apple cart somewhat at Stamford Bridge and Claude Puel looks a shrewd manager. Southampton have a strong defence, a keeper in his prime, a creative midfield and a prolific goal scorer up front. What’s not to like?
Southampton v Chelsea – Charlie Austin to score anytime (2/1 MarathonBet)
Southampton v Chelsea – Southampton +0 Asian Handicap (14/11 BetVictor)