It’s often in times of turmoil that we must be grateful for small mercies. And in this case, that smell mercy is the end of the longest international break of my entire life. Good God.
But we’re back with a fine selection of Antonio Conte’s favourite competition – a grand old schedule of Barclays.
Saturday 15:00: Chelsea v Southampton
Sky Sports Box Office
As expected, the only four teams to have won each of their last two Premier League games are Everton, Aston Villa, West Ham and Southampton. Because 2020.
And it’s the last of those we’re focusing on today. Southampton became somewhat of a Premier League darling because they stuck with a manager who was struggling, turned it around and then gave him a new deal.
That’s the shallowness of being a standup club in the 21st century. But they’ve hit that little run of form at the wrong time, as the break surely hampers them somewhat.
And not only that, but they face a team in dire need of a re-evaluation process. Chelsea have been nothing short of disappointing to date and they needed the break. In classic fashion, both Kai Havertz and Timo Werner scored during the break.
But who comes out on top in this one? Let’s have a check-in on the best bets here.
While I think Chelsea will eventually come away with three points here, it’s hard to put your finger on the energy levels breaking through their squad post these last three international fixtures.
It’ll take something off the bench to spark them into life and given that Timo Wener is never scoring a goal for Chelsea in the Premier League, we know it won’t be coming from him.
But honestly, Southampton could easily have a go at Chelsea here if they want to. They’ve considerably more well-rested players who are full of confidence and the pitch is narrow enough to not be undone by Chelsea’s width, which is the primary cause of them having time to find killer balls inside.
This one will be in the balance at the break.
If there’s a bigger mismatch for opposition defenders in the Premier League at the moment then I don’t know them.
Djenepo’s feet are incredibly quick and he’s never out of energy. As Chelsea dig in to find a goal late in the game, there’s every chance he gets handed a few one-on-ones where this price begins to look incredible value.
I do have my reservations over Frank Lampard’s managerial ability, but I also maintain he’s probably quite a good man-manager, especially to younger players.
Over the international break, in between sending GIFs of Kermit the Frog to each other, Lamps was probably telling Timo that it would all come together and not get bogged down by it.
He’ll encourage him to shoot on sight, and he’d be right to. The first goal that comes for Werner will see the floodgates open and he’ll join the likes of your Harry Kanes, Mo Salahs and ehh.. *checks notes*.. Danny Ings in the public perception.
*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets
Paddy Power’s Chelsea v Southampton tips
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