Premier League

Southampton-Chelsea Preview

A much-needed victory on the weekend has Chelsea primed to build on that triumph during the short turnaround of the festive period.

The Blues look to win two straight Premier League matches for the first time since early November when they aim to continue their recent success versus visiting Southampton on Thursday.

Mired in a 1-0-4 stretch and looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat, Chelsea (10-2-6) got first-period goals from Willian and held on to top a 10-man Spurs side for a 2-0 victory on Saturday.

"The points on offer over this busy period, when they come thick and fast, are important to us," manager Frank Lampard told Chelsea's official website. "We know that, so we'll need to do everything right in our preparation.

"We need to, particularly on the back of the few games before Tottenham, show another side to our game. Can we get our home form where we want it to be against Southampton?"

Chelsea currently sit fourth in the Premier League table, but have lost two of the last three at Stamford Bridge. They're also 7-1-0 against Southampton in the top-flight since losing to them in October 2015. They have not won two in a row since a six-game league run from Sept. 28-Nov. 9.

Willian, who doubled his league goal total to four after the Spurs match, has not scored in eight consecutive Premier League matches versus Southampton. However, he did have an assist during a 4-1 win at St. Mary's in the reverse fixture on Oct. 6. Tammy Abraham (11 goals), Mason Mount, N'Golo Kante and Michy Batshuayi each scored in that contest.

Danny Ings, who has matched his career high with 11 goals, totaled the lone tally for the Saints (5-3-10) against the Blues. He also recorded a brace during Southampton's 3-1 victory at Aston Villa over the weekend. Ings is just the third Southampton player to record at least 10 goals before the turn of the calendar within Premier League competition.

"At the moment, he has so much self-confidence when he is in the box," manager Ralph Hasenhuttl told Southampton's official website about Ings.

"I'm happy for him. He works very hard, and this is why he deserves to score at the moment. We all know it's important that he is fit, and he helps us massively."

Jack Stephens also scored for the Saints, who avoided a third straight overall defeat by winning for the third time on the road in 2019-20.

Updated December 24, 2019

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