The Blues return on a high after a 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace. That win was gratefully received by Frank Lampard after the frustration of a penalty shootout loss to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup, a 3-3 League draw against West Brom, and a 2-0 home defeat by Liverpool.
Chelsea will be favourites to overcome a Southampton side that have won two and lost two of their opening four Leagues matches, securing back-to-back victories over Burnley and West Brom prior to the international break.
Follow all the latest match action and news with Malik Ouzia!
21 mins: It was Ben Chilwell’s pass that set Werner away as well – the full-back has had an excellent start.
GOAL! | Chelsea 1-0 Southampton | Timo Werner 16′
This one counts! Terrific from Werner, who sells Bednarek up the river with a glorious dummy and then races away from him before driving inside and firing back past McCarthy.
Chelsea deservedly ahead.
14 mins: Goal disallowed!
Ben Chilwell’s made a good start down the left and his curled delivery is met by Werner, who heads home but the flag is up.
9 mins: Out of nothing, Southampton are almost ahead. Theo Walcott drives and though the ball is poked away from him it falls nicely for Che Adams, who is denied by Kepa’s block.
8 mins: Chelsea have started brightly here, first Chilwell’s cross met by Pulisic but the header miscued and then Mount sliding in Werner on the angle but his effort drifts wide.
3 mins: Chance!
Christian Pulisic comes alive with a lovely driving run across the pitch, playing a one-two and then slipping in Ben Chilwell, whose low strike forces McCarthy into a decent low save.
We are up and running…
The teams are on their way out at Stamford Bridge. Kick-off is a couple of minutes away…
Right then, we’re almost ready to get underway at the Bridge. Can Chelsea make it back-to-back win in the Premier League or can Southampton repeat their upset victory here last season?
In the Premier League’s early kick-off, Liverpool and Everton have just drawn 2-2 in an epic Merseyside derby where the scoreline only tells a fraction of the story.
Liverpool were denied a late winner by a proper ‘game’s gone’ VAR call – fingers crossed none of that nonsense here today.
Walcott makes second Saints debut
Stuart Armstrong’s absence may well have accelerated Theo Walcott’s integration into Southampton’s starting XI.
The Everton loanee is straight into the side and it looks like he’ll play on the right of midfield.
Pulisic back in XI
Christian Pulisic makes his first start since last season’s FA Cup final having made his comeback as a late substitute in the thumping of Crystal Palace just before the international break.
Another winger, Hakim Ziyech, is on the bench and Frank Lampard said yesterday that he was hoping to be able to hand him his debut at some stage.
Kepa starts, Caballero on bench
Frank Lampard kept his cards close to his chest about who would play in place of the injured Edouard Mendy but it is Kepa Arrizabalaga who gets the nod and now looks pretty set as the Blues’ no.2.
Southampton team news
Southampton XI: McCarthy; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond; Adams, Ings.
Subs: Stephens, Long, Obafemi, Valery, Tella, Diallo, Forster
Chelsea team news
Chelsea XI: Kepa, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Christensen, Chilwell, Jorginho, Kante, Mount, Pulisic, Havertz, Werner
Subs: Caballero, Tomori, James, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, Abraham, Giroud.
We’re expecting team news in the next 10 minutes, so watch this space…
The cost of viewing? £14.95
This afternoon’s game will be the first of the Premier League’s new controversial pay-per-view games.
Fans will have to pay £14.95 if they want to watch the match live on BT Sport Box Office, even if they already subscribe to the broadcaster’s regular channels.
Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is one of those that has voiced his disgruntlement at the arrangement.
“£14 is a lot of money,” Mourinho said. “You cannot even share with your friends as they cannot come to your house [in London]. It is difficult. I feel sorry for the fans. But hopefully this stops quickly and we can have some people in the stadium.”
Walcott: I’m not here to put my feet up
Theo Walcott could make his second Southampton debut this afternoon after returning to his boyhood club on loan from Everton on deadline day.
The former England international has some happy memories of playing at Stamford Bridge, having scored for Arsenal in that bizarre 5-3 game here a few years back, and is keen to hit the ground running.
“I looked down at the badge and it just reminds me of when I was a kid. I feel 16 again,” Walcott told the BBC.
“I am not coming here to put my feet up, I’m here to work hard, play and help.”
So, how will the Blues shape up today? Here’s what we think…
Kepa, James, Zouma, Christensen, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Mount, Havertz, Pulisic, Werner
What do the bookmakers think?
As you’d expect, Chelsea are odds-on favourites to make it back-to-back home wins in the Premier League, priced up at 5/8 with Betfair.
However, Southampton produced an upset in this fixture last season and are 5/1 to do so again, with the draw at 7/2
Kick-off time and venue
Chelsea vs Southampton is scheduled for a 3pm BST kick-off.
The match will be behind closed doors at Stamford Bridge with no fans due to be present due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus.
How to watch
TV channel: The match will be shown live via pay-per-view on BT Sport Box Office at a cost of £14.95.
Chelsea XI: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Zouma, Chilwell, Kante, Jorginho, Pulisic, Havertz, Mount, Werner.
Subs: Abraham, Caballero, Tomori, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, James.
Southampton XI: McCarthy, Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Walcott, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Redmond, Adams, Ings
Subs: Stephens, Long, Obafemi, Valery, Tella, Diallo, Forster
Referee: Robert Jones
Ralph Hasenhuttl could opt to hand a Southampton debut to Mohammad Salisu following his summer move from Real Valladolid.
Prediction: Chelsea 2-0 Southampton
Chelsea got back on the right path against Palace, cutting out the woeful defensive errors and at the other end proving as dangerous as many expected them to be following an expensive summer recruitment drive.
Southampton will have confidence after successive wins before the break, but a third victory in a row at Stamford Bridge is likely to prove a tall order.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Of the 42 Premier League meetings between the teams, Chelsea have won 24 and Southampton nine, with nine draws.
Chelsea eased to a 4-1 win at St Mary’s in October 2019, only to lose the return fixture 2-0 on Boxing Day courtesy of goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond.