Chelsea are one of three unbeaten teams in the Premier League, with five wins and two draws from the first seven matches, and unlike the two other teams, Chelsea are also unbeaten in the League Cup (unlike Liverpool) as well as Europe (unlike Manchester City). The Blues have not lost since the semi-competitive affair of the Community Shield, two months ago.
Those two draws however have all come in the last two matchdays, so Chelsea are also looking for a first league win since putting four past Cardiff City in mid-September. The Blues sit two points below the top, and a win, combined with a possible draw between the top two on Sunday — Liverpool host City in Sunday’s late kick-off — would create a three-way tie on points at the top of the Premier League heading into the October international break.
Chelsea last played Southampton in the FA Cup semifinal last season, winning easily, 2-0. Could use something like that again.
Date / Time: Sunday, October 7, 2018, 14:15 BST; 9:15am EDT; 6:45pm IST
Venue: St Mary’s, Southampton, England
Referee: Craig Pawson — Chelsea have a surprisingly poor record under Pawson (just 6 wins in 12 matches, with 5 losses) and he’s borne witness to some of the team’s worst defeats in recent seasons, including last year’s 1-4 at Watford and 2-3 vs. Burnley on opening day (with two players sent off). The previous season, he saw the home loss to Crystal Palace and the defeat at West Ham in the League Cup.
On TV: Sky Sports Main Event (UK); NBCSN, Telemundo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: Sky Go (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India)
Southampton team news: Saints are without a home win since late April and are already in the early-season conversation for the drop. But they did beat Everton in the League Cup during the week (via the shootout) — this is the match that had to be moved due to Chelsea’s cup tie against Liverpool — so there’s a bit of positive to build on.
Champions League-winner Ryan Bertrand might not be fit, while goalkeeper Alex McCarthy also faces a late fitness test. Generally annoying Shane Long is fit however, and Danny Ings has 3 goals in 6 games (which is exactly half of all goals Southampton have scored so far this season in the Premier League).
View from the enemy: St. Mary’s Musings
Chelsea team news: Other than minor match fitness concerns over Pedro and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, both of whom returned from injuries on Thursday against Vidi FC and may be short of the required overall fitness to play just four days later, Chelsea are basically fully healthy.
The team may be unbeaten, but a bit of goalscoring would not go amiss. Since putting four past Cardiff City, Chelsea have scored just four in the last five matches in all competitions.
Previously: Olivier Giroud inspired a rousing 3-2 comeback from 2-0 down in this fixture last season.