Southampton play visitors to Stamford Bridge tonight as Chelsea look to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table over closest rivals Tottenham to seven points.
Having lost to Manchester United just over a week ago, Antonio Conte’s men were victorious against Spurs in their FA Cup semi-final on Saturday afternoon – coming out 4-2 winners at Wembley – and will hope they can carry that momentum into tonights fixture to creep a step closer to the Premier League title.
Three points for the Blues would mean a seven point gap between themselves and second place with only five games remaining till the end of the season.
Southampton will prove to be no push-over however, with Claude Puel sure to be desperate to ensure a solid end to what has been an hit-and-miss season for his side. The Saints lost in dramatic circumstances during the League Cup final to Manchester United back in February, and currently sit ninth in the table with seven games to go and two games in hand over those around them.
While the chase for European football seems to be all but over for the boys from St. Mary’s, a solid end to the season could see them finish as high as eight position, which would be a considered a brilliant success considering the huge overhaul at the club last summer.
The Saints again lost a number of their key players – including main man Sadio Mane to Liverpool – and saw former manager Ronald Koeman swap the South coast for Merseyside to take charge of Everton.
Gary Cahill is set to return for Chelsea after being hospitalised and treated for gastroenteritis. The Englishman has returned to training this week and is likely to regain his place in the Blues’ back three.
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard are also likely to start after having come off the bench during the win over Tottenham at the weekend to turn the game on its head. Willian may also be in line for his first start in a month following his brace at Wembley.
Southampton midfielder Oriel Romeu is available to face his former side after completing a two-match ban, however the Saints remain without Charlie Austin, Sam McQueen and Matt Targett, all who are still suffering with injuries.
Here are how the two teams are like to line up…
Who do you think will come out on top at the Bridge?