It’s another quick turnaround for Southampton’s B team, who go from facing Brighton on Friday night to a visit to Chelsea in Premier League 2 on Monday.
Chelsea vs Saints B
Premier League 2
Monday 12th April, 7pm BST
Saints’ side was certainly a youthful one when they met with Brighton on Friday afternoon.
The likes of Sam Bellis, Seamas Keogh and Jayden Smith all featured as an experienced Brighton side took the three points.
Goals from Danny Cashman and a double from Teddy Jenks secured a comfortable afternoon for the hosts.
Chelsea suffered a setback last-time-out with a draw at 12th placed West Ham United.
The Hammers took the lead in the 55th minute through Kai Corbett, before George McEachran’s 77th minute penalty rescued a point for the Blues.
Three points on Monday night for Chelsea could see them leapfrog Tottenham into third place, just three points behind second placed Blackburn Rovers.
A win for Saints is equally as vital, as that would see Dave Horseman’s side rise above both West Ham and Leicester for the time being and just two points behind 10th placed Arsenal.
Saints and Chelsea last met at the Snows Stadium during September in what was Saints’ first outing at their home ground.
Things certainly got off to a flying start as there were four goals within the first twenty minutes.
Jonathan Russell opened the scoring for the visitors within the first minute, before Josh Sims equalised just shy of the ten-minute mark.
Thierno Ballo then put Chelsea ahead again on 14 minutes before the first of Peart-Harris’ double gave the Blues a comfortable margin, winning the game 4-1.
On the clash, Horseman recalled: “It was the biggest learning curve for some of these boys. We obviously played Arsenal at the start of the season and completely dominated territory, the ball, we regained the ball so fast.
“We were still using a high press and they caught us and deservedly won on the night through maybe our naivety rather than some of their good play.”
On Monday’s opponents Horseman said: “Chelsea are probably the most adaptable 23s team and Academy. I know their Academy pretty well because I had a son that played in it for a long time.
“They want to win, and rightly so at this age, and they can adapt to different opponents. We were still using a high press and they caught us and deservedly won on the night through maybe our naivety rather than some of their good play.
“I thought we had good periods last time we faced them but they’re obviously, with Man City, the best two by a mile in terms of winning at youth level.
“It will be a real tough one and it will be predominately some 18s and under-19s [for us], but we expect high standards.
“We’ve got some really good players in there, some really good players, who will be fine for the future so will be a really good learning curve I’m sure.”