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Southampton 0 v 6 Chelsea
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 9th April 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Southampton V Chelsea The Preview
Friday, 8th Apr 2022 09:07

Saints take on a Chelsea side that has shipped 7 goals in the last two games, can they really lose 3 in a row ? Will the Blues come out of the tunnel at Southampton a wounded animal and snarling or are they a shattered side.

Chelsea's 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid earlier this week at Stamford Bridge almost certainly will mean they depart the Champions League when they travel to Spain on Tuesday, but will this be bad or good news for Saints.

Will they be demoralised with this result coming straight after a 4-1 home defeat to Brentford or will they be keen to get back on track.

The first dilemma for them is what strength side they put out at St Mary's, although it looks a virtual impossible task for them to overturn a 3-1 deficit in Madrid on Tuesday, do they have a go at it with a full side, or do they give that one up before they start and play a full side against Saints.

The issue on that is that on 59 points they are 5 points clear of Spurs & Arsenal in 4th & 5th place respectively, they cannot afford another defeat as it could leave them in peril of dropping not only out of the top 3 but even the Champions League places.

So has Tuchel written off the Champions League ?

Secondly they have an FA Cup semi final next Sunday followed by a home game against Arsenal 3 days later, that makes it 4 games in 11 days for them, that will mean prioritising games and hopefully this one will be low on their priorities.

Prior to last Saturdays shock result at home to Brentford Chelsea were going well, they have been beaten only once since the start of December and that was at Manchester City, they had won 5 straight Premier League games and were in good form.

But suddenly their season has hit the rocks with two emphatic defeats and from that perspective it's hard to see them losing three in a row.

So it's still a tough game for Saints and one where they can't afford to take their eyes off the ball and will need to concentrate for the full 90 minutes and indeed added time.

Ralph Hasenhuttl won't be able to but out his full side to make it even harder, with Armando Broja being on loan from Chelsea he will be unable to play against his parent club so will be missing from the Saints attack.

To compound that Shane Long has not trained all week due to a knock on his ankle and may not even make the bench.

So it looks like it could be a rare start for Adam Armstrong, in truth that won't be an entirely bad thing, those who judge the striker only on his goals tally will not be happy, but those who judge him on his all round play won't be so pessimistic.

Yes he needs a goal, but he could be perhaps a better bet up front than Broja on this one as he is more mobile and will defend from the front.

So could this be the game when Adam Armstrong bursts on to the scene and shows Saints fans why the club paid big money in our terms for him.

Other options for Ralph include playing one of Nathan Redmond, Theo Walcott or Moussa Djenepo as out and out strikers, but given none of them have featured much in the past weeks, that doesn't look likely, however Ralph likes to spring surprises.

Indeed he could of course look to revert to a different formation than 4-4-2.

Other than that the only other issue for him if he stays with 4-4-2 is whether to keep Ibrahima Diallo in the side or bring back Stuart Armstrong.

This is going to be a hard game to call, what side will Chelsea put out, will they be a snarling wounded beast or will they be demoralised, will they have one eye on Tuesday and next weekend's FA Cup semi final, or will they just go for it against us.

For Saints they need a result with another tough game coming up against Arsenal followed by a trip to Burnley who are now in full surge out pf the relegation zone mode.

I don't think we will be troubled with relegation, but we could start to drop down a few places if we are not careful.

Photo: Action Images

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aceofthebase added 11:31 - Apr 8
Tella not a consideration?

A1079 added 12:13 - Apr 8
Whoever is up front needs to be less powder puff with their shots. I was at Leeds Utd (and other games obviously) and when we shoot at goal all too often they are like back passes or an attempt to pass the ball into the net making an easy save or pick up by the opposing keeper or we fire straight at the keeper. I cannot help but feel that if we put some venom into our shots we may at least force a save which may lead to a rebound or something.

Our goal conversion from open play is very poor and it seems an age since we took a team apart. It would also take the pressure of our defence etc if we offered more up front.

underweststand added 12:31 - Apr 8
Chelsea will want to pull back some f the goal difference they lost in their midweek CL game and may not field their "best side", which may give us an advantage. Even with losing a few Prem. games they will surely qualify for to 4 this season.
Saints on the other hand are most unlikely to progress above 9th place and should use these remaining games to access how we should proceed with some of the "also-rans who are still under contract. We must see Adam Armstrong getting decent game time in an attempt to get him scoring again.

Centurion added 14:31 - Apr 9
Going to need 40 points this year. Wth Everton winning and if Burnley beat Norwich it could look a bit uncomfortable.

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