Chelsea vs Southampton preview, betting tips and prediction: Blues to ease to win, with or without Morata

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Chelsea to win 2-0 @ 11/2 with Coral

Chelsea to win with a -2 handicap @ 21/10 with Coral

Chelsea to win in both halves @ 11/10 with Coral

Chelsea host Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday hoping to continue their recovery from the shock defeat at West Ham last weekend. Antonio Conte made the point that his players had tired after playing a crunch Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid. He picked the same team in both games, but he saw his side harried constantly by an organised, hard-working Hammers outfit who thoroughly deserved to win.

Having played at Huddersfield on Tuesday too, it will be interesting to see what approach Conte takes to this game. It is hard to keep up with Southampton because they’ve been rather inconsistent of late. Mauricio Pellegrino builds his team from the back and aims to frustrate teams, and that was shown perfectly last week against Arsenal, all the way until Olivier Giroud snatched a draw for the Gunners in the dying embers. It isn’t hard to see how the Saints will approach this game, but we think, tired or not, Chelsea will come out on top. Though, as Conte says, their title hopes appear gone.

Form

It would be untrue to say the defeat for Chelsea last week was a complete surprise. Perhaps West Ham’s victory was, but losing the odd winnable game has been a theme of Conte’s reign, despite winning the Premier League last year. It happened this season at home to Burnley and away at Crystal Pakace, not to mention the 3-0 loss at Roma in the Champions League. That was their last defeat for two months, seven games, and they have impressed in games against other teams in the middle to bottom of the Premier League, beating the likes of Stoke, West Brom and Newcastle with ease.

Southampton have won just once in six games, scoring four against Everton, but they have been drawing a few, including their last two against Bournemouth and Arsenal. That just goes to show what Pellegrino’s mindset is when it comes to these games. He’ll try and sit back and use Charlie Austin further up the field as a target man. Austin has come in from the cold lately and scored four goals in his last four games, meaning Southampton do have someone to play off and they will be a threat for that reason.

Team News

Alvaro Morata is one of the players Conte said has been tired and he missed the Huddersfield game on Tuesday night. While he may return, it could be another opportunity for Michy Batshuayi to start up front. Conte could rest some other players, too, though he has previously bemoaned the lack of depth in his squad. David Luiz will miss out through injury again.

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Southampton don’t have any fresh concerns, leaving Pellegrino with most of his options available to him for the clash at Stamford Bridge.

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