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Southampton 0 v 3 Chelsea
Barclays Premier League
Sunday, 7th October 2018 Kick-off 14:15
Saints V Chelsea The Preview
Sunday, 7th Oct 2018 09:21

Saints take on Chelsea at St Mary's looking to emulate the first 60 minutes of last April's clash but not the final 30.

It's now been almost 2 1/2 years since Saints beat a Big Six club in the Premier League and that has to change and today is as good a day as any to do it.

The big question is what formation will Mark Hughes employ, will he stay with his favoured line up so far this season or will he go to a back three and if so who will be in it ?

The penalties win at Everton saw several players come into the side, but in fairness although they had good games, none of them were really outstanding enough to suggest they would do any better than those they would potentially replace.

Maya Yoshida was the one that some Saints fans were watching and clamouring for him to come in the side, however the Japanese defender was culpable in the build up to the Everton goal and almost handed them the game with a short back pass.

Yoshida could come into the side however if Hughes opts for a back three, but if the manager does that then both Stephens and Bednarek could claim they had better games at Goodison than Yoshida and therefore deserve the chance.

Playing a back three has it's merits, it worked in the aforementioned game at St Mary's six months ago that saw us 2-0 up before throwing it away due to lapses in concentration, something we really need to get out of our game.

We just seem to lose it in the final quarter of the game, it cost us dearly last season and continues to do so this season, we were having these lapses and conceding soft goals long before Hughes arrived and it is the one thing he really has to eradicate.

Personally I think we have to change something to feshen things up, I would revert to the back three and put Bednarek in alongside Hoedt and Vestergaard, I would play Lemina, Hojbjerg & Romeu in the centre with Bertrand and Cedric as wing backs, I would then have Ings and Redmond as an attacking duo.

On the bench i would have Gunn, Yoshida, Targett, Armstrong, JWP, Austin & Gabbiadini.

I think offers us the best starting line up with good options off the bench although it does mean leaving out several squad players including Moi Elyounoussi who although has shown promise has yet to truly show his class.

Mark Hughes himself has to step up to the plate, so far this season he seems to have done little except to pick the team, we have lacked motivation,we don't seem to play with that spark that other teams do, that has to change, also he has to look at his substitutions they haven't always been the best although he has been unlucky with them at times, Everton in midweek being an example, Davis on for Gabbiadini was a change most managers in the Premier League would have made, yet another late goal called it into question.

Tough game for Saints today, we need to generate the siege mentality that we have had in the past both on and off the pitch.

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underweststand added 10:10 - Oct 7
Chelsea - AGAIN. The fourth time in less than a year, and most of the present squad will recall the previous three meetings. Although Man City and Liverpool are rampant this season it seems that every time we play Chelsea , they very clinically "DAJ on us" and even the 2-0 lead wasn't enough to beat them in the Spring home League game..never mind the FA Cup Semi final.

Everyone is praising Eden Hazard, and indeed it's difficult not to, and perhaps the only solution may be to man-mark him with someone who can get through the game
without getting two yellows for their trouble. Personally I'd be more concerned over the performance of Giroud who's got the better of us - almost every game, even back to his days with Arsenal.

If we can raise our game - and last out "the 96 minutes" this may too big a call unless we really stick to the task. At the end , we might be glad of just one point.

It's not the sort of game to campaign for MH's removal if we don't get a positive result, but a learning curve against a good top 6 side, and hope for an upturn in our poor form.


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