Chelsea will look to build on their FA Cup semi-final victory over city rivals Tottenham, as they resume Premier League action against Southampton on Tuesday.
The Blues exercised superiority over Spurs, who are also trailing by four points on the league table, on Saturday, winning 4-2 at Wembley Stadium. Chelsea will make their way back to the same venue to face Arsenal in the final of the FA Cup on May 27. Antonio Conte will be looking to cap a wonderful debut season at Stamford Bridge with the Premier League and FA Cup double, but Chelsea face Southampton next in the Premier League as they look to regain their stronghold on the title, after some inconsistencies over the past few weeks.
For Southampton, there isn't a lot to play for at this stage of the season, considering that Europe is out of reach and they are nine points clear of the relegation zone. The Saints sit ninth in the Premier League with 40 points on board – four points shy of eight placed West Bromwich Albion with two games in hand. In their last match, they were thrashed 3-0 at home by Manchester City.
Chelsea have won 11 of their last 12 home matches and are favourites at (1.47) on SportyBet to win this tie. Southampton have won only one of their last seven matches against Chelsea, but a Southampton win in this tie is priced at (7.04) - and that will give Southampton a rare third win against Chelsea in 15 years if they can pull through. A draw at the end of this tie is available at (4.41) on the same sport betting platform, but as neither team is defensive and as one point will have little benefit to either, draw seems the most unlikely outcome.
Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners when they were hosted by Southampton earlier this season. A correct score of 2-0 in this encounter, just like it happened the last time, is available on SportyBet at (6.52).
Chelsea have now conceded in 11 of their last 13 games in all competitions, but have scored in 12 out of 13. At home, they have only kept a clean sheet in one of their last six Premier League matches. Southampton, meanwhile, have scored in four of their last five away matches, but with just two clean sheets in their last eight. It will be difficult to keep out a Chelsea team who have scored in all of their matches at Stamford Bridge this season. Odds of (1.97) on SportyBet for both teams to score looks like a very good bet.
Striker Diego Costa is the favourite (1.80) to score anytime in this tie, even though his run of poor form continues. Costa has not scored in any of his last five league matches, but he will be looking to add to the 17 Premier League goals he has already scored this season. Eden Hazard is next at (2.05). Italian playmaker Manolo Gabbiadini is the top choice (3.80). to score anytime for the Saints.
Conte's men have scored at least 2 goals in 6 of their last 7 home matches. Over 1.5 goals will be worthwhile, and that is priced at (1.26) on SportyBet. We expect to see some goals in this tie. Last time out, Southampton lost to Manchester City by three goals in their last game. Over 2.5 goals in this tie is available at (1.83).
Gary Cahill is doubt for Conte, having missed the FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham due to illness, but Nathan Ake might deputise and his impressive performance against Spurs is a boost in that regard.
Belgian playmaker Hazard and Spaniard goalscorer Costa are expected to be handed starting shirts after both players came off the bench to inspire victory in the FA Cup on Saturday, with Willian battling Pedro for the other spot in Chelsea's forward line.
Who do you think will win? Click here to register with SportyBet now to place your bets
SportyBet, as recommended by Nigerian football legend Kanu Nwankwo offers one of the highest odds in Nigeria.