Making a much-needed return to winning ways after putting in a rampant display at bitter rivals Tottenham over the weekend, Chelsea will be looking to make it back-to-back victories when Southampton travel to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day afternoon.
While the Blues might have been dealing with some rather worrying issues entering December, Frank Lampard’s side saw their top-four odds given a huge boost on Sunday and have their sights firmly set on making yet another statement this weekend.
On the flip side, Thursday’s hosts are not the only outfit who managed to snatch what could be a crucial three points in their own must-win encounter over the weekend.
Putting in an eye-catching display to pick up a thumping 3-1 win away at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon, the Saints have finally managed to find a route out of the drop zone and are desperate to widen their buffer.
However, there is no doubt that fans around St. Mary’s will be concerned by their side’s most recent displays against the former champions.
Hit with a 4-1 hammering when they hosted Chelsea on the South Coast back in October, the Saints have also lost eight of their last nine matchups against Thursday’s hosts and another Chelsea victory can be found at 4/11 with Coral.
Lampard’s tactical masterclass
While a run of four Premier League defeats in five matches may have seen Chelsea’s top-four buffer quickly shortened, the Blues bounced back in some style last weekend in what could be described as a season-best display.
Picking up three points and bragging rights after dominating Jose Mourinho’s Spurs in North Lonon on Sunday, Head Coach Frank Lampard had his tactics rightfully praised by many.
Once again holding a four-point buffer from losing their Champions League status, the Blues are currently priced at 1/2 with Ladbrokes to secure a top-four finish come May.
Recording their first away clean sheet of the season last time out, fans around Stamford Bridge will be looking for last weekend’s Man of the Match Willian to carry on from where he left off across London.
Bagging a brace over the weekend, you might be interested to know that the Brazil international can be found priced at 6/4 with William Hill to once again find the net on Boxing Day.
Elsewhere, after having to settle for a place on the bench in over the weekend, Lampard could be set to recall midfielder Jorginho to his starting XI in midweek to take up his usual role alongside N’GoloKante and Mateo Kovačić.
Danny Ings – Southampton’s MVP
Although Southampton were disappointed to have seen West Ham snatch a 1-0 win at St. Mary’s a fortnight ago, the Saints bounced back in some style over the weekend.
In what was being billed as a real relegation six-point at Villa Park, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men put in a dominant display in their 3-1 victory and have now found a route out of the bottom-three.
With their sights firmly set on extending their Premier League status this season, there is no doubt that the former RB Leipzig boss will be most excited by the on-going success of leading marksman, Danny Ings.
Bagging a brace over the weekend, the one-time Liverpool striker has already recorded 11 top-flight goals since opening the new season, his joint-most in a single campaign in the competition.
Now scoring 12 goals in his last 13 matches across all competitions, you might be interested to know that the 27-year-old can be found priced at 9/5 with Paddy Power to extend on that tally at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.