BBC pundit makes Southampton vs Chelsea prediction
BBC’s Mark Lawrenson expects a reaction from Chelsea in Saturday’s Premier League clash against Southampton after a “bad week” in which they suffered back-to-back home defeats.
Ideally, Blues manager Thomas Tuchel would like to rest his key players this weekend and focus on the preparation for the second leg in Madrid next week.
Chelsea, however, clearly do not really have the luxury of doing so since their spot in the top four in the Premier League is not exactly safe. As things stand, they are only five points ahead of both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.
Tuchel himself even admitted that his team may lose to Southampton if they play the way they did in the last two games.
For Chelsea, it is now all about getting back on track.
Lawrenson thinks that Southampton will offer strong resistance but still predicts a 2-1 win for the Blues.
“It’s been a bad week for Chelsea, who have conceded seven goals in two home defeats, against Brentford and Real Madrid,” the former Liverpool defender told BBC.
“I don’t think anyone expected that, especially the 4-1 loss to the Bees.
“I am expecting a reaction from Thomas Tuchel’s side, though.
“Southampton are awkward opponents, but Chelsea have a point to prove.”
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, who also expects a tough game, is aware of how important Saturday’s game is for Tuchel’s men.
“The Premier League games for Chelsea are always important, against us especially, because I know it’s not easy coming here,” the Austrian explained (via Southampton’s official website)
“I think it will be a tough game, tough fight, and we will try to make it as tough for them as possible.”