Looking for two from two on the road, Saints travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Boxing Day. Prepare yourself for our festive fixture with our Match Pack, in association with eToro…
Chelsea vs Southampton
Thursday 26th December, 3.00pm GMT
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Sian Massey-Ellis, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Matt Donohue
VAR: Lee Mason
Assistant VAR: Matthew Wilkes
WHICH KIT WILL SAINTS BE WEARING?
Sunday will see Saints don their yellow and black away strip, with black shorts and yellow and black striped socks.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men will be looking to build on their emphatic win at Aston Villa, with a real test coming up through a Boxing Day visit to Chelsea.
But it’s a test which comes with great rewards; a win for Saints could see them rise to as high as 13th if other results go their way.
The fixture also has its worth for fourth placed Chelsea, who will be looking to further increase the gap between them and those in fifth and sixth.
Their win last time out at Tottenham got Frank Lampard’s men right back on track, following a run of only one league win in four games.
Both Hasenhüttl and Lampard will both be looking to this game to pick up where they left off, and gain the momentum which is vital at this time of the football year.
Shane Long is a major doubt for the trip to Stamford Bridge after suffering a knee injury which has kept him out of training since Tuesday.
Moussa Djenepo is a confirmed absentee from the squad as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.
Elsewhere whilst Yan Valery remains an absentee, Pierre Højgberg has recovered from a knee injury scare and is available for selection, as is Sofiane Boufal who missed the last two fixtures with a toe injury.
For Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is set to miss the Boxing Day clash with a knock picked up in the win at Tottenham, meaning Reece James is likely to start.
Other than long-term absentee Ruben Loftus-Cheek, the Blues have no new injury concerns.
Aston Villa (a) 1-3 (Ings x2, Stephens)
West Ham (h) 0-1
Newcastle (a) 2-1 (Ings)
Norwich (h) 2-1 (Ings, Bertrand)
Watford (h) 2-1 (Ings, Ward-Prowse)
Tottenham (a) 0-2 (Willian x2)
Bournemouth (h) 0-1
Lille (h) 2-1 (Abraham, Azpilicueta) (Champions League)
Everton (a) 3-1 (Kovacic)
Aston Villa (h) 2-1 (Abraham, Mount)
Ralph Hasenhüttl: “It will be an interesting game for us. Last season, we played a draw there and it was a good game from our side.
“This season, we had a very difficult game at home against Chelsea and we know how strong they are.
“They have struggled a little bit before the Tottenham game, but it will be interesting to see what shape they will use."
Frank Lampard: "Both games [against Saints and Arsenal] are going to be tough, we need to show another sign of our game and getting points at home.
"The points on offer over this busy period when they come thick and fast are important to us, we know that, so we’ll do everything right in our preparation.
"We need to, particularly on the back of the few games before Tottenham, show another side to our game. Can we get our home form where we want it to be against Southampton?"
ONE TO WATCH
Danny Ings: It’s hard to look any further than the free-scoring Englishman when picking Saints’ key man.
Ings’ brace against Aston Villa last week ensured he was one of only three former Saints players to score ten goals of more before Christmas; with Matt Le Tissier and James Beattie for company.
Tammy Abraham: When the transfer ban was given to Chelsea in the summer many felt they would struggle to fill the goalscoring void left by Eden Hazard’s departure.
But up stepped 22-year-old Tammy Abraham, whose eleven goals in 17 Premier League matches, alongside three assists, so far has certainly gone some way to achieving that.
Danny Ings 13
James Ward-Prowse 4
Moussa Djenepo 2
James Ward-Prowse 4
Danny Ings 3
Sofiane Boufal 3
Tammy Abraham 13
Christian Pulisic 6
Mason Mount 5
Christian Pulisic 5
Tammy Abraham 4
HEAD TO HEAD
Played – 105
Saints – 30
Draws – 29
Chelsea – 46
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
October 2019: Saints 1-4 Chelsea (Ings)
January 2019: Chelsea 0-0 Saints
October 2018: Saints 0-3 Chelsea
April 2018: Chelsea 2-0 Saints
April 2018: Saints 2-3 Chelsea (Tadic, Bednarek)
DID YOU KNOW?
- This is Saints’ 17th Premier League Boxing Day game, and it will be their 16th against a London side. The only exception being the 3-0 win at Cardiff in 2013.
- Chelsea are currently unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League Boxing Day game, the longest run in the competition’s history
NOT AT THE GAME?
Busy with festive cheer this Thursday? We have you covered! Across our channels we’ll bring you all the action, as well as a host of behind-the-scenes access.
Check out our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com, with all of the live in-game updates and free audio commentary of the match, and be sure to follow us on social media for further updates and exclusive content: