Preview: Chelsea v Southampton

Chelsea will be aiming to consolidate their place at the top of the Premier League standings when they host Southampton on Tuesday night.

Premier League
25 April 2017
Match Day 34
Kick-off: 20H45 (GMT)
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: L. Mason
Assistants: H. Lennard, D. Cann
Fourth official: K. Friend

Head-to-head summary: 

TEAM             MATCHES  WIN   DRAW   LOSS

Chelsea                68          31       18        19        
Southampton        68          19        18        31

Previous encounter: 

Southampton 0-2 Chelsea 30 October 2016 (Premier League)
Chelsea goalscorers: E. Hazard (6'), D. Costa (55')

Players to watch: 

Eden Hazard remains one of Chelsea's biggest weapons, with 15 goals and seven assists this season, after scoring against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-finals in their last fixture.

The Saints will be hoping Nathan Redmond and Shane Long come to the party on the day. The pair have scored seven and five goals respectively in all competitions this campaign, while contributing with four assists between them.

Team form and manager quotes: 

Chelsea's lead at the top of the table has been reduced two four points in recent weeks, following defeats to Crystal Palace and Manchester United, while second-placed Tottenham have continued winning.

However, manager Antonio Conte's charges come into the clash against the Saints on the back of a confidence-boosting 4-2 win over Spurs in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday; a result upon which they will look to build some momentum.

"I think that now at Chelsea we are in a period of transition," Conte told his post-match press conference, following the win over Spurs.

"In this season, we have lost Branislav Ivanovic, John Obi Mikel and next season we lose John Terry. We are talking about players who wrote the history of this club.

"Now we have to find the right substitutes for these players and then work to put these players at the same level."

Meanwhile, Southampton are looking to bounce back from their last outing which saw them suffer a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City.

Despite the loss, manager Claude Puel's side have won two of their last three games, beating Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion to move into ninth position.

"They are a fantastic team that want to win the title, but for us as well it is important to take points," Puel told his pre-match press conference.

"I am confident with my players. They work very well in training. It's important to play our game and enjoy it.

"The best team in the Premier League is the one with the most consistency and, for the moment, that is Chelsea."

Team news: 

Chelsea will be unable to call upon goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois for the clash due to a malleolar injury.

Southampton are still without the services of long-term injury cases Matt Targett, Alex McCarthy, Charlie Austin, and Virgil van Dijk.

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