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Chelsea vs. Southampton, Premier League: Preview, team news, how to watch

Chelsea look to start the new year on the right foot

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Southampton FC v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by James Bridle - Southampton FC/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Out with the old year, in with the new year, as the season moves into the second half of the 2018-19 season with Chelsea sitting a solid fourth.

After last night’s results, the Blues will need all three points to maintain the five-point gap on Arsenal in fifth and keep the pressure on for those immediately ahead.

Date / Time: Wednesday, January 2, 2019, 19:45 GMT; 2:45on EST; 1:15am IST (next day)

Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6

Referee: Jonathan Moss — his last Chelsea match was our 2-1 loss at Wolves last month

Forecast: Dropping towards freezing. Mild temperatures no more!

On TV: none (UK); NBCSN (USA); Star Sports Select 2 (India); elsewhere

Streaming online: NBC Sports Live (USA); Hotstar (India); Chelsea TV (audio commentary only; int’l); Fubo TV (affiliate link — USA only)

Chelsea team news: The Blues are in the midst of a growing injury crisis, especially in the final third as Sarri’s attacking options have been effectively halved. Olivier Giroud rolled his ankle over the weekend and joins Pedro in the treatment room while neither Callum Hudson-Odoi nor Ruben Loftus-Cheek may be fully fit.

It’s making Sarri’s search for attacking solutions all that much harder, and he may have to make do with out-of-form players like Morata and Willian starting (and Hazard himself was less than impressive against Crystal Palace).

Chelsea finished out the calendar year with back-to-back away wins and now face seven matches in January across three different competitions. This is exactly when squad depth is most useful.

Southampton team news: New Saints boss Ralph Hasenhüttl has six points from five games, which is certainly a better return than the nine points from fifteen under Mark Hughes, but Chelsea still will be expected to win comfortably, just as in the first meeting of the season, back in October. Chelsea have won seven in a row against Southampton in all competitions, since the 3-1 shocker at Stamford Bridge at the start of the 2015-16 season.

Saints have an almost fully fit squad, but will be without Champions League winner Ryan Bertrand, who’s been dealing with a back injury.

Previously: Chelsea won 3-0 in October at St Mary’s, back when both Barkley and Morata were in good form.

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