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Southampton vs Chelsea - Premier League betting tips and prediction

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Can the Saints improve their home form?

When Maurizio Sarri arrived at Chelsea in mid-July, nobody knew what was in store. The uncertainty that surrounded the first team, after it took so long for the Blues to sack his predecessor Antonio Conte, in the summer suggested it would be tough for Sarri to sweep in and improve the situation overnight. Negativity had swarmed the club over the previous year; it didn’t take long for their Premier League title defence to collapse and though they won the FA Cup, missing out on the Champions League vindicated the calls for Conte to go. But months on, it seems Sarri has swept in and instantly lifted the mood.

The Blues head to Southampton, who are struggling to find any sort of form at St Mary’s, looking to go top of the table hours before their immediate rivals, Liverpool and Manchester City, do battle at Anfield. The freedom which Eden Hazard has been afforded this season has clearly lifted his game; at one staged it looked as though the Belgian would have been right to leave Stamford Bridge, but he is seeing that he can get the best out of his career right where he is. Mark Hughes is desperately trying to find a formula for consistency, but with just two wins in all competitions in their last six games, he hasn’t yet found it. We don’t think he will this weekend, either.

Hazard is the obvious goal threat in this game, but the attention will now be on Alvaro Morata. The Spaniard has looked poor for weeks and questions over whether Sarri trusts him have been asked, yet he scored in the Europa League on Thursday. Perhaps he’ll be worth backing again as FGS @ 7/2 with Betfair.

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