Southampton impressed in their last match against Manchester United and will have felt coming away from that match with a loss was an unfair reflection on their performance. Southampton look like they have finally settled on playing 4 at the back rather than 3 and the performance of centre back Armel Bella-Kotchap against Manchester United suggests they have found a gem of a signing in defence.
Despite Conor Gallagher’s red card in the last match, Chelsea were able to beat Leicester City 2-1 although they lost the match on xG, 1.46-1.93. Chelsea were so close to a win against Spurs less than 2 weeks ago, but since then have struggled, losing 3-0 to Leeds, before the arguably lucky win against Leicester. If Chelsea really are title challengers this season, they will need to win again here.
Southampton v Chelsea Bet Builder Tips
Raheem Sterling to have 2+ Shots
Chelsea started their first 3 matches with 3 at the back before switching to a 4 at the back against Leicester due to Koulibaly’s suspension. In every match that Chelsea have played 3 at the back, they have created over 0.6 xG from attacks through the centre of the pitch. In Southampton’s last match, 79% of Manchester United xG came from attacks down the centre, so with this being a strength of Chelsea and a potential weakness of Southampton, central attacking players should get plenty of chances for shots. Raheem Sterling finally found his goalscoring boots in his last match, scoring both goals in Chelsea’s win against Leicester and has been playing in a centre forward role.
The Chelsea summer signing has been central to plenty of Chelsea’s attack and provides pace to their forward play. He has had 9 shots in 4 games so far, averaging 2.43 shots per 90. Southampton have allowed 12 shots on their goal per match on average so far this season and Southampton will push men forward in attack leaving defenders often in 2v2 or 3v2 scenarios. Against a player with the pace and dribbling ability of Sterling, he will run at defenders in this position and this will be another situation where he can find space for a shot.
Joe Aribo to have 1+ Shot on Target
Joe Aribo has really gone under the radar so far, signed from Rangers in the summer, he is tall, strong and good with the ball at his feet. He has played as a central attacking midfielder just off the shoulder of the striker and is pushed right up front when Saints attack. Against Chelsea, 3 of the 4 shots Everton had from open play were on the left-hand side of the box, where Aribo usually attacks. Aribo has started the season well for Southampton, averaging 1.45 shots per 90 and 1.16 shots on target per 90 and has bagged his first goal for the club against Leeds. Furthermore, Chelsea’s 3 at the back means there is room out wide for the opposition to send crosses in from deep.
At 6’0” tall, Aribo is Southampton’s main attacking aerial threat from crosses. 4 of his 5 shots this season have come from crosses, including his goal against Leeds. Chelsea have allowed 8 shots so far this season from set pieces and no team has conceded more goals so far this season than Chelsea from set pieces, so they are clearly not the strongest at defending crosses and if this continues Aribo will be able to get at least 1 shot on target in this match.
Reece James to be Shown a Card
The referee for this match is Michael Oliver. Oliver has given 10 cards in his 3 matches so far this season and averaged 2.96 yellow cards per match last year. Chelsea have got the 3rd most cards of any team so far this season and Southampton have drawn the 2nd most yellow cards of any team so far this season. Reece James must be the favourite for a yellow card in this match, he has committed the 2nd most fouls of any Chelsea player so far this season.
However, it is the man he is up against that is the main reason I have selected him to be carded. Moussa Djenepo is the most fouled Southampton player so far this season, he has been fouled 9 times. Djenepo has completed 1.87 dribbles per 90 on average in the least year, this puts him in the top 5% of full-backs in top 5 European Leagues and he attempted 3.89 dribbles per 90 over the last 365 days which puts him in the top 2% of full-backs. Djenepo will have space out wide to run at Reece James and James will therefore be a prime candidate for a booking in this match.
Under 2.5 Southampton Cards
Southampton have received just 4 cards in their 4 matches so far this season, only 2 teams have received less. Chelsea have only drawn 5 yellow cards this season, an average of just over 1 per match. Southampton have the second best successful pressure percentage in the league, only behind Liverpool and prefer to win the ball from pressing the opposition into a mistake rather than any last ditch tackles. When their press is beaten, they have centre-backs Bella-Kotchap and Mohammed Salisu, who are yet to let a player dribble past them this season. Southampton have received over 2.5 cards just once in their last 18 premier league matches, a run stretching back to February last season.
Southampton receive few yellow cards, are playing a team that don’t draw many yellow cards and have received over 2.5 yellow cards once since last February, so I am backing them to get under 2.5 cards in this match.
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Southampton predicted XI (4-2-3-1) : Bazunu; Walker-Peters, Bella-Kotchap, Salisu, Djenepo; Ward-Prowse, Lavia; A. Armstrong, Aribo, Elyououssi; Adams
Chelsea predicted XI (3-4-2-1) : Mendy; Chalobah, Silva, Koulibaly; James, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Chilwell; Mount, Sterling; Havertz
* All odds displayed correct at the time of publishing *
How to watch Southampton v Chelsea in the Premier League?
📅 When is Southampton v Chelsea? / Tuesday, 30th August 2022, 19:45
🏟 Where is Southampton v Chelsea? / St Mary’s Stadium (Southampton)
📺 What TV channel is Southampton v Chelsea on? / BT Sport 2
🟨 …And who is the referee for Southampton v Chelsea? / M. Oliver 🏴