PREM: Chelsea v Southampton preview


Chelsea v Southampton preview

Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are both expected to start for Chelsea for the clash with Southampton.


The duo were named on the substitutes' bench for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham, though Hazard did score in the 4-2 victory after both were introduced in the 61st minute.
 
Antonio Conte got the desired response from his Chelsea side in the FA Cup victory over Spurs, having witnessed a lacklustre display in their previous league encounter at Old Trafford, where they lost 2-0 to Manchester United.
 
And Southampton boss Claude Puel is aware of the tough task ahead for his side, who currently sit ninth, three points behind West Brom but a staggering 17 points off Arsenal in seventh.

"They are a fantastic team that want to win the title, but for us as well it is important to take points," Puel said.

"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."
  
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has recovered from gastroenteritis to return to training and could feature against Southampton.

Nathan Ake replaced Cahill and could continue in the starting XI if Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte opts not to risk his on-field captain, who took a full part in training on Sunday and Monday.
 
Matt Targett and Charlie Austin will return to training after recovering from respective hamstring and shoulder injuries but neither is available for the trip.

Sam McQueen is doubtful after sustaining a groin injury while Virgil van Dijk (foot) and Alex McCarthy (hamstring) remain absent.

Teams

Chelsea (from): Courtois, Begovic, Fabregas, Zouma, Alonso, Kante, Hazard, Loftus-Cheek, Moses, Pedro, Costa, Matic, Willian, Batshuayi, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Luiz, Eduardo, Aina, Ake.

Southampton (from): TBA


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