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Chelsea will be desperate to return back to winning ways when they travel to the south coast to face Southampton on Saturday.
A 1-1 draw at the Stamford Bridge against West Ham last weekend extinguished the Blues’ hopes of making it to the top-4 this season. Tottenham Hotspur are 10 points above 5th-placed Chelsea and with just six games left in the season, it is very unlikely that Spurs will drop points.
However, Saturday’s trip to a struggling Southampton gives Antonio Conte’s men a chance to bounce back to winning ways as the Blues need to improve their form ahead of an FA Cup semi-final against the same opposition.
Chelsea’s No.1 between the sticks, Courtois returned against West Ham after recovering from a hamstring problem. He should keep his place on Saturday.
Azpilicueta has been a reliable player for Conte. The versatile Spaniard was on the scoresheet last weekend and will be hoping to nick a few more before the end of the season.
Cahill has been a disappointment all season for the Blues. Being our skipper, it is high time for him to step up and put up a commanding display.
Rudiger has done well lately and he will have to be extremely solid to keep the Saints at bay.
Moses can attack and defend with the same intensity and discipline. He is expected to be deployed in his usual role.
Alonso has been one of Chelsea’s standout performers this season and I don’t see any reason why he would drop out of the starting XI.
The engine of this team, Kante does the dirty job, works tirelessly and pulls the strings for the Blues. A sure starter at Southampton.
Given Fabregas has failed to influence the Blues from a central midfield role, the game against Southampton calls for Danny Drinkwater. He can spread the play well with his crosses and is also adept at shielding the back line.
Hazard keeps the ability to create something out of nothing, which makes him a dangerous customer against any opposition. However, he is currently not in the best of forms and will be desperate to get back his mojo at the weekend.
With blistering pace and creativity, Willian has been outstanding at right-wing this season for the Blues. The Brazilian is expected to start again on the right.
Morata did score against West Ham but lacks confidence. The goal surely would have boosted his morale and Conte would expect the Spaniard to deliver the goods at St. Mary’s.