PREMIER LEAGUE expert Ross Casey (@Rosscasey24) shares his thoughts on Sunday afternoon's encounter between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary's.
Southampton v Chelsea | Sunday 7th October 2018, 14:15 | Sky Sports
Chelsea arrive at St Mary's in third place on the back of five wins and two draws from seven matches. They are undefeated, but some questions have been asked of the Blues after back-to-back draws against West Ham and Liverpool.
Maurizio Sarri's men are firm favourites to get back to winning ways domestically here though, with a best price of 13/20 with William Hill.
It is a much different story for Southampton – who sit just two places above the relegation zone. Their home record has been poor so far with no wins, two draws and one loss. They have all been winnable games as well, which will be particularly frustrating.
The Saints have failed to beat Burnley, Leicester and Brighton on home soil. This is of course their biggest test so far at St Mary's – and with Chelsea have won their last three trips here, it is hardly a surprise to see the hosts are as big as 5/1 to win here.
Mark Hughes has struggled to get the best out of this squad so far this season, with just eight goals scored across all eight matches played in all competitions.
Frustratingly for the former Welsh international, his defence has also let him down recently too with seven goals conceded in their last three matches.
The Saints have averaged 10 shots on goal per-game at home though, so at least chances are being created on home soil. They have been involved in five matches out of five that have gone Under 2.5 Goals, whilst Chelsea have had four of their last five games follow suit.
It is quite interesting then that the market suggests this won't be the case on Sunday with Over 2.5 Goals odds-on, and Unders at 11/10.
It is fair to say that Chelsea have become heavily reliant on Eden Hazard this season. The Belgian international has scored six Premier League goals for the Blues – double the number that Pedro has, who is their second top scorer on three.
The visitors' strikers Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud have scored just one goal in a combined 625 minutes of football. With that in mind, and the Belgian netting in six of his last eight – it is hardly surprising that Hazard is the 13/10 favourite to score at anytime.
The betting angle
I am sure it won't surprise you that I will be looking at trying to get Under 2.5 Goals onside after a similar bet landed for me in the Manchester United v Valencia game in midweek, where the market seemed to go against the over/under statistics.
I think I would plump for this again here, but the Chelsea to win ‘to nil' appeals more as it is a similar bet but also allows for a bigger winning margin, as well as offering better odds at 9/5 with Ladbrokes.
Plus, Chelsea have kept four in their last seven games across all competitions and Kepa has been making some excellent saves of late.
Southampton v Chelsea – Chelsea to win to nil (9/5 Ladbrokes)