Chelsea have enjoyed a renaissance under Guus Hiddink and the Blues romped their way to the quarter finals of the FA Cup by claiming a comprehensive 5-1 victory over Manchester City last weekend.
City admittedly put out a very youthful looking team on the night but it has to be said that Chelsea looked very impressive and they have now managed 10 goals in their last two domestic matches after also beating Newcastle United with a 5-1 score last time out in the Premier League.
Chelsea claiming such a resounding victory this weekend looks unlikely though as they come up against a miserly Southampton side which has not conceded in their last six matches and the match at the St. Mary’s Stadium is expected to be a real test for Hiddink’s men.
Here is the probable Chelsea starting lineup for the clash against Southampton –
Thibaut Courtois has been starting all the games since the arrival of Hiddink as manager and the young Belgian will take his place between the sticks against Southampton as well.
The Saints boast a strong attacking lineup consisting of the likes of Graziano Pelle, Sadio Mane and Charlie Austin among others and Courtois will certainly have to put in a good effort to earn a clean sheet from the game.
Kurt Zouma remains ruled out while John Terry is a doubt and this means that Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic are likely to continue their partnership at the heart of the backline for the clash.
In the full back positions, Cesar Azpilicueta and Abdul Baba Rahman are likely to be starting while Kenedy will also be in contention. New signing Matt Miazga might take his place on the bench as well.
John Obi Mikel and Cesc Fabregas have been the first choice midfield pairing for Chelsea under Hiddink and the duo are set to start once again which means that Nemanja Matic will have to do with a place on the bench.
In the advanced positions, Willian will be starting behind the lone striker while the duo of Pedro and Eden Hazard will be deployed out wide following their brilliant performance in the victory over Manchester City last time out.
Diego Costa continued his great run of form by grabbing another goal in the victory over City and the Spaniard will be leading the line for Chelsea on Saturday as well.
Radamel Falcao is still injured but Hiddink will have the option of using the likes of Loic Remy, Bertrand Traore and Alexandre Pato if Chelsea are unable to break the deadlock through the course of the game against the tough Saints defence.
Via – Lineup Builder