No matter the competition, Chelsea appear to have found their form of late.
The Blues look to make it four straight wins over all competitions on Sunday, whilst looking to continue their recent success over host Southampton.
Since losing to Valencia in the Champions League and Liverpool in the Premier League over a six-day stretch in second-half of September, Chelsea (3-2-2) have nicely regrouped. It started with a 7-1 thrashing of lower-tier Grimsby Town in the League Cup, followed by a 2-0 top-flight, home triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.
Then this week, the Blues returned back to Champions League play and recorded a 2-1 victory at Lille. That all should have built up plenty of momentum and confidence up and down the roster for Chelsea, who trying to work their way into the top-four of the Premier League table.
They have yet to win back-to-back matches within the top-flight, but will be aiming for a third consecutive away victory in the league after opening this campaign with a 4-0 loss at Old Trafford.
Though the Blues find themselves amidst a 6-1-0 stretch versus Southampton (2-1-4), and looking for a fifth straight win at St Mary’s, first-year manager Frank Lampard is offering plenty of coach-speak to keep his side from taking anything for granted this weekend.
“We’re expecting a tough match, a very good manager with a well-organised team,” Lampard told Chelsea’s official website.
“It’s always a very difficult place to go, so you have to be at it because there’s a lot of energy in their team. And, the crowd can get behind them if they play with the kind of intensity that they have been showing. We need to match that at least, because we want to keep our momentum going.”
Lampard stated it’s possible valuable midfielder N’Golo Kante could be back in the starting XI after playing in the mid-week versus Lille. U.S. star Christian Pulisic was again not a European option for Lampard, but could possibly be in the running for his first Premier League action since Aug. 31.
Tammy Abraham (eight goals in all competition) and Willian scored against Lille and it was be interesting to see the amount of time, if any, they get against a Southampton side that’s trying to avoid a third straight defeat.
The Saints went 2-1-0 from Aug. 24-Sept. 14, but since have lost to Bournemouth and Spurs whilst managing just one goal in each of the setbacks. Southampton has totaled seven goals during the top-flight campaign, and more than one in a contest only once.
Perhaps most frustrating from last weekend’s 2-1 loss at Tottenham, was the Saints managed only Danny Ings’ goal in the 39th minute and allowed Spurs to go ahead right before half-time despite the hosts playing a man down since the 31st.
“There was an opportunity and we couldn’t take it,” defender Maya Yoshida told Southampton’s official website. “Now, it’s a really difficult situation for ourselves, but we cannot look behind us too much.
“It’s another important game against Chelsea (Sunday), so, we’ll focus on that and keep going.”