Chelsea is yet to win consecutive games in 2013, and if they are to retain their Champions League spot, they need to stop bleeding points at home. A match against Southampton should bring them the three points that they desperately need to increase the gap separating them from Tottenham.
Match: Chelsea vs Southampton
Bet: Under 2.5 goals
Odds: Bet365 2.50
John Terry has finally recovered from injury, and it is quite possible to see him featuring in the back line tonight, although only for one half. Benitez is not going to take chances with Terry and force him to play 90 minutes, especially now that Petr Cech is also sidelined. His replacement did a brilliant time in the previous round, and conceded no goal away at Stoke, a team that plays a more aggressive football than Southampton.
Speaking of which, the visitors are expected to start with Lambert as sole striker, but their top scorer is 30 years old and would hardly play at the same level the entire match. His replacement is Rodriguez, but with only two goals scored in 18 games it is very unlikely for him to turn into a real threat. Southampton need any point it can scrape as they are only one point above the relegation line and their main counter candidates have stronger squads. This should explain why the visitors will be defending even if Chelsea manages to score an early goal.
The bookmakers don’t leave us too many choices if we are to wager on this fixture, but Bet365 presents us with tempting odds of 2.50 for the under 2.5 goals. Chelsea has the best defense in the Premier League and faces an opponent that would gladly settle for a draw and will do everything in its power to earn a point.