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Chelsea vs. Southampton: Team news, preview, TV & streaming information, George Boyd hair and hero worship

Scenes from an Atlético Madrid training session.
Scenes from an Atlético Madrid training session.
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Chelsea have not even had a kick of the ball this weekend, but we've already seen our title hopes Boyd.  Errr, buoyed.  By George Boyd.  Buoyed by Boyd.

The man who's hair and headband-game is unparalleled in the Premier League put the defending Premier League champions to the sword with a fantastic left-footed strike.  City looked about as good as Chelsea did on Wednesday, and adding to our joy was the penalty that was not given for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta in the Burnley penalty area as time ticked away.  While the Manchester City right back certainly anticipated the contact (and dragged his foot before said contact), it was most likely still a foul.  But referee Andre Marriner keyed on the foot-drag and didn't give it, leaving Burnley with all three points.  Chelsea now sit five points ahead with TWO games-in-hand, one of which is this one right here.

Of course it's not all roses and unicorns at Stamford Bridge either, even though we've only lost two games in 2015 and three games all season.  Five draws in the last eleven, with reduced scoring and silly goals conceded from corners have contributed to a general feeling of unease and malaise among the Chelsea faithful.  Hopefully, the highly disappointing elimination against 10-men Paris Saint-Germain will prove the low-point and the Blues' performances will pick up just as Mourinho has promised.

Eleven games to go.  The magic number is 23.

Date / Time: Sunday, March 15, 2015, 13:30 GMT; 9:30am EDT; 7pm IST

Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6

Referee: Mike Dean -- After December's 3-0 win over Spurs at the Bridge, Dean has now refereed a record 56 Chelsea games, which is now 4 more than Graham Poll's 52.  Hopefully the 57th will see us win our 37th under the Premier League's longest-serving referee.

Forecast: Cold and rainy.

On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBCSN, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports 4 / HD 4 (India); elsewhere

Online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra, Fubo TV (USA); Star Sports (India)

Chelsea team news: Mourinho boasted in the pre-match press conference that despite the players looking fatigued both physically and perhaps mentally as well, everybody's raring to go and nobody's hiding behind any phantom injuries.  Though the manager didn't mention it, John Obi Mikel's probably the only exception as he recovers from meniscus surgery.  While I'm sure the Chelsea veteran is equally anxious to get back on the pitch, there's only so much you can accomplish through will and mind power alone.  Mikel's not expected back until April.

Chelsea -- still unbeaten at home all season -- have only conceded 5 goals in our last 6 games, but all five have come on headers from corners and crosses into the box, with each of our defenders switching off, in-turn, for individual errors.  Regardless of who starts on Sunday, those errors need to be sorted out, especially with the rest of the team not exactly in free-scoring mood.

Still, Chelsea are clear favorites here.  We just need to embrace that pressure and not shrink from it.

Southampton team news: Two long-term absentees for the Saints in Emmanuel Mayuka and Jay Rodriguez, both unlikely to play this season.  Spare a thought for poor Jay Rodriguez, who once scored 13 seconds into a game at the Bridge, but then tore his ACL almost a year ago and thanks to a series of setbacks during his recovery, still doesn't appear anywhere near ready to come back.

Ronald Koeman's men have lost three of their last six, scoring just two goals in the process, one each in the two 1-0 games they've won in that time.  Both goals were scored by Sadio Mané and both came after the 80th minute.  They will no doubt hope to keep things tight and nick it late.  In two recent losses, to Liverpool and West Brom, they were unable to recover from early conceded goals, and a similar early-goal for Chelsea could finish off a happy weekend for us.

For more on Southampton, be sure to read our opposition analysis.

Previously: This will be the 95th meeting all-time between the two sides.  Chelsea have lost just once in the last 12, winning 7.

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