|Chelsea 0 v 2 Southampton|
Barclays Premier League
Thursday, 26th December 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Chelsea The Preview
Thursday, 26th Dec 2019 09:20
Saints go to Stamford Bridge for their Boxing Day fixture hoping to continue their good performances away from home and stay out of the bottom three.
It is never easy to get a point at Chelsea let alone all three, but playing away from St Mary's seems to suit Saints better these days, perhaps it is down to the fact that they can sit back a little more and no get caught on the break so much and perhaps a little is the pressure from the home fans, but the performances away from home have been far better.
In contrast Chelsea themselves have been a little up and down both home and away, their last six games in the Premier League have seen four defeats and two wins and they vary in standard from a great win in their last game, to poor performances at Everton and in defeats at Stamford Bridge to both Bournemouth and West Ham.
So for Saints it has to be business as usual on the road and as at Aston Villa keep the errors to a minimum.
I don't expect Ralph Hasenhuttl to make too many changes, although it looks like there will be at least one enforced with Shane Long doubtful and the manager has to consider whether he slots in another striker to replace Long, or has a change of formation and plays just one up top.
Hasenhuttl also has to manage his squad, with three games coming up in the next six days he has to be careful that he doesn't overuse some of his players, in recent weeks he has used the same core players with minimal changes, but it will be a hard ask to do that in so many games in so short a period.
That is why I wouldn't be surprised to see Che Adams get a start in the festive period and that could just happen up at Stamford Bridge, Danny Ings is in fine form, but perhaps the manager will prioritise the Crystal Place game and rest him against Chelsea, but Ings himself will be keen to play and keep his run going.
But the main aim now is to get through this period virtually unscathed and still be outside the bottom three, then hopefully we can get in a defender in January and truly find our form.
But Chelsea will be a hard task, if we come away with a point it will be a good result and a bonus.
The main thing though is to keep playing with the spirit and energy of late, the Leicester game galvanised the squad and manager and although the games since have been blighted by errors that have cost us dearly, they have showed us that we have a good side it just needs a defender or two.
The main thing for the manager, players and indeed the supporters is to focus on our long term goal this season and that is survival, that will not be easy it will see set backs along the way and that means defeats but once we stop handing goals to the opposition those set backs will be less frequent.
The main focus will be the two home games and we need to get a win from one of those.
Photo: Action Images
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