|Chelsea 3 v 3 Southampton|
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 17th October 2020 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Chelsea The Preview
Saturday, 17th Oct 2020 10:30
Saints head to Stamford Bridge today to make history in the first individual pay per view Premier league game, but Ralph Hasenhuttl has other things to worry about with two notable absences through injury.
A trip to Stamford Bridge is always a daunting task, but one that Saints have periodically stood up to and prospered over the years more than at most of the other so called Big Six clubs.
But Ralph Hasenhuttl is already having to look at his starting line up and revamp with the absences of Stuart Armstrong who has been in isolation after testing positive for Covid19 and Moussa Djenepo with a hamstring injury picked up during the first half of the win over West Bromwich Albion.
On the plus side Hasenhuttl has three additions to his squad who have yet to feature on a matchday, Mohamed Salisu and Ibrahima Diallo are joined by the prodigal son Theo Walcott.
This gives the Austrian manager plenty of options, he could of course stick to the 4-4-2 formation that has seen two straight wins and clean sheets by putting in Nathan Redmond and then either Theo Walcott or Will Smallbone to play in the wide positions in midfield and this looks his most likely option.
But he could also bring in Diallo in the centre and perhaps switch James Ward Prowse to the right of the midfield.
He could also try a change of formation and play three at the back adding either Salisu or even Jack Stephens to Bednarek & Vestergaard in the centre, pushing the full backs forward a central trio of JWP, Romeu & Diallo with Danny Ings and Che Adams up top.
There is plenty to think about for the manager, but it does show that the squad is now stronger than it was before in all positions.
My gut feeling is that he won't experiment too much, this is a tough game and not the time to change too much, I think he will keep the core of the side that have won the last two games and then tweak the midfield opting to put in Redmond & Wallcott on the flanks, although I think he might just opt for a little bit of caution and play the tougher in the tackle Will Smallbone ahead of Walcott.
It will be a tough game and as always we will have to rely on a little bit of luck and hope that Chelsea don't take a chance or two.
But we go into the game in confident mood having had those back to back wins and although we didn't cover all bases in the transfer window I think overall we are better prepared for the rest of the season than we were a year ago.
When you go to Chelsea at least over the past 17 years since the Abramovich multi millions turned them from also rans into a Big Six club you can never go with confidence you can win, but we have managed that on more than one occasion, if we can do so today then it will be a great result, but the brutal truth the first thing we want to see is a competent, competitive and spirited performance, if that gets us a win then great, a draw would be fine and a narrow defeat would not be a disaster.
But lets be honest we still have that weakness a the back and till we see Mohamed Salisue play we will not know if we have gone any way towards solving it.
So I remain cautiously optimistic for the season, but it will be good to get one of the more difficult away fixtures out of the way.
Chelsea for their part have had a mixed start to the season, a win at Brighton on the opening day was promising, but that was followed by a home defeat to Liverpool and a 3-3 draw at West Brom that saw them 3-0 after only 27 minutes, they managed to turn it around second half but the cracks were there to see.
Last time out they routed Crystal Palace 4-0 at Stamford Bridge, all this points to a side packed with talent, but they are not the finished article, they can concede goals but also score them, this means that predicting the scoreline in this game is difficult, both sides have potent attacks but are somewhat lacking defensively, it could be 4-4,, so hopefully 0-0.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
There’s enough doom and gloom about concerning the coronavirus pandemic to last several lifetimes, and let’s face it, 2020 really does suck. I’m pretty sure we’re all in need of some positivity right now, something to set our sights on, a goal if you will. Mine came to me in a blinding flash of inspiration as I prepared my wake-up mug of caffeine this morning – never, in all my years of following Colchester United, have I got even close to watching every single match of a season. I suspect I’m not alone in that, even diehards like noah must miss the occasional one or two each season. Kind of thanks to coronavirus (bizarre huh) and the relaxed approach to match streaming on Saturdays, I’m currently on 8/8, today being the 9th. Why not, I thought, make it all season without missing a game? There’s a lot of ifs, buts and maybes in that, not least if we do emerge from this crisis before the end of the season and the streaming gets canned, but for now I have my goal…
Letters from Wiltshire #08 by wessex_exile
Lots of discussion this week on football forums, including here, on two subjects – the petition to lobby parliament to allow limited numbers of supporters back into football grounds, and of course the return of that old chestnut from Man City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, introducing Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL. First off, I don’t mind admitting I’ve signed the petition ( https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552036 ), as have 192,779 others at the time of writing, though I don’t actually think it’ll make any difference. I can completely understand why some do not think this is a good idea, as second-wave spikes of coronavirus infection pop up all over the country (mainly because – let’s face it – some people are dicks and can’t be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet). But to me, the two go hand in hand (not dicks and toilets) – whilst football clubs throughout the country struggle financially without spectators, we are always going to be under threat of this sort of ‘B’ team nonsense as a condition of financial support from the Premier League fat cats. They got their way in 2016 with the EFL trophy, who’s to say they won’t again when the financial squeeze really starts to tighten its grip without paying customers through the turnstiles? Robbie has featured prominently in this debate in recent weeks, and looks like he will again on Sky tomorrow if this tweet from Sophy Ridge is anything to go by -
Letters from Wiltshire #07 by wessex_exile
Welcome to Matchday #4 everyone, with the U’s making a reasonably solid start to the league campaign, undefeated, two clean sheets, only one goal conceded and sitting comfortably just outside the play-offs. I’d probably feel more comfortable if we were scoring a few more at the other end, so it’s good to see Chuck getting back into action. The big news that’s grabbing most of the column inches now is of course that President Trump is in hospital with coronavirus. Now there are many out there in the social media world who consider this somewhat poetic irony, given his (mixed) messaging on the subject since the crisis began, and there are more than a few wishing that it ends very badly for Trump. I’m not one of them, but I was reminded this morning of a famous quote “I have never killed anyone, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction”. Often misattributed to Mark Twain, it was Clarence Darrow in his 1932 work The Story of My Life. For those, like me, who consider Inherit the Wind probably the best courtroom drama ever made, Darrow was the lawyer in the real Scopes Monkey Trial.
Letters from Wiltshire #06 by wessex_exile
Here we are again, back in the (now) much-maligned EFL Trophy and a home tie against West Ham United U21s, and I think probably our last chance to stay in the competition? Robbie’s most recent rallying cry has been to “buy, buy, buy” when it comes to iFollow streams, and with the likelihood of supporters getting to matches receding, making streaming probably our only viable revenue stream, who can blame him. As an exile, I was never expecting I’d have many opportunities to see the U’s in the flesh this season, so he’s rather preaching to the converted as far as I’m concerned, but I do like the loyalty scheme he’s put together.
Away days by Andyconky
Many pounds have been spent and many train tracks have been travelled but who doesn't love an away day. Doesn't matter if its Chester or Chelsea or Lincoln or Liverpool, it's all good fun with a sense of adventure of what may happen.
[ Vote here ]