Premier League action returns to St Mary’s on Saturday as Southampton host Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. Get up to speed with our Match Pack …
Saints vs Chelsea
St Mary’s Stadium
Saturday 9th April, 3pm BST
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Nick Hopton.
Fourth official: Robert Jones.
VAR. Chris Kavanagh.
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis.
After a disappointing March, Hasenhüttl’s men claimed a valuable point on the road at Leeds last Saturday thanks to a sublime James Ward-Prowse free-kick.
With little to separate the teams around them in the table, Saints could jump as high as ninth with victory over the West London outfit.
It’s been a difficult week for the visitors, who fell to two defeats at Stamford Bridge, the first a 4-1 loss to Brentford in the league last Saturday.
More disappointment came in midweek as Real Madrid soared to a 3-1 victory in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.
Sitting third in the current league standings, Tuchel’s men will be hoping to bounce back at St Mary’s and further solidify their chances of playing in the Champions League again next season.
It’s positive news for Southampton as both Lyanco and Alex McCarthy have returned to first team training ahead of Saturday’s clash.
Loan striker Armando Broja is unable to feature against his parent club, meaning Hasenhüttl will turn to one of his other strikers to rise to the occasion.
Ben Chilwell remains a long-term absentee for Chelsea, while Callum Hudson-Odoi Is also a doubt for the tie.
“It’s a good thing to see that the big teams are struggling sometimes. The bad thing is that this doesn’t happen very often. So, as I know them and how they work, he [Tuchel] will be very critical with them and will try to find a reaction.”
"We have to get things ready for Saturday. We can't think about the Bernabeu. It is crucial that we go to Southampton. If we keep playing like this we will lose at Southampton and then we will get hammered at Bernabeu. I worry more about Southampton than Real Madrid for the rest of this week."
The captain has continued to deliver standout performances this season, with his prowess behind a dead ball undeniable. If Saints are to break down the Chelsea defence, set-pieces could be the way through.
Chelsea’s standout performer on a difficult night in Europe, Havertz is a consistent performer for Thomas Tuchel. Leading the way for most goals scored this season, the 22-year-old’s relentless press is often rewarded.
Armando Broja 9
Adams, Elyounoussi, Ward-Prowse 8
James Ward-Prowse 7
Nathan Redmond 6
Kyle Walker-Peters 4
Havertz, Lukaku 12
Mason Mount 8
Mason Mount 12
Reece James 7
Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Kanté, Kovacic 5
October 2021: Chelsea 1-1 Saints (Adams)
October 2021: Chelsea 3-1 Saints (Ward-Prowse)
February 2021: Saints 1-1 Chelsea (Minamino)
October 2020: Chelsea 3-3 Saints (Ings, Adams, Vestergaard)
December 2019: Chelsea 0-2 Saints (Obafemi, Redmond)
- Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse scored his 13th direct free-kick goal in the Premier League in their 1-1 draw at Leeds last time out, with only David Beckham (18) scoring more in Premier League history. Ward-Prowse scored and was sent off in the reverse fixture against Chelsea in October, with Rickie Lambert the last Southampton player to score home and away against them in a single league season in 2012-13.
- Southampton defender Valentino Livramento – who was twice an unused sub in the Premier League for Chelsea last season – is looking to become only the fourth Saints player to make 25 Premier League appearances in a season as a teenager, along with Matt Oakley (28 in 1996-97), Luke Shaw (25 in 2012-13 and 35 in 2013-14) and James Ward-Prowse (34 in 2013-14). No Chelsea player has ever played 25 times as a teenager in a Premier League season.
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