There are four changes to the Chelsea starting 11 for today’s trip to Southampton…
Edouard Mendy returns in goal and there is a first Premier League appearance under Thomas Tuchel for Kurt Zouma at the back, while N’Golo Kante and Reece James are also back. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Andreas Christensen, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Jorginho all drop to the bench.
The Blues are expected to line up in the 3-4-2-1 system that Tuchel has predominantly adopted during his time in charge to date, with Tammy Abraham recovering from the leg injury that forced him off early in the win against Newcastle at the start of the week to lead the line up front. He will be supported in attack by Mason Mount and Timo Werner.
Zouma joins Toni Rudiger and captain Cesar Azpilicueta in central defence, with Marcos Alonso and James the wing-backs. Kante replaces Jorginho to join Mateo Kovacic in midfield.
The Saints are without the injured Kyle Walker-Peters and Stuart Armstrong from their defeat to Wolves last weekend. Former Blues Ryan Bertrand and Oriol Romeu are among the starters for Ralph Hassenhuttl's side.
Chelsea (3-4-2-1) Mendy; Azpilicueta (c), Zouma, Rudiger; James, Kante, Kovacic, Alonso; Mount, Werner; Abraham
Subs Kepa, Christensen, Chilwell, Emerson, Jorginho, Gilmour, Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud
Southampton (4-2-3-1) McCarthy; Bednarek, Salisu, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Romeu, Ward-Prowse (c); Djenepo, Minamino, Redmond; Ings
Subs Forster, Stephens, Ramsay, Ferry, Jankewitz, Chauke, Tella, N’Lundulu, Adams
The referee is Anthony Taylor
Southampton have lost their last five home league games against Chelsea, their longest such losing run against an opponent in their league history.
They have lost 24 Premier League games against Chelsea; only against Man Utd (28) have they lost more in the competition.
Mauricio Pochettino was in charge the last time Southampton beat the Blues in a home league game, in March 2013. Goals by Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert confirmed the victory either side of a John Terry effort.
Chelsea have won more Premier League games (nine) than any other side against Southampton in the Premier League at St Mary’s.
Chelsea have won four Premier League games in a row for the first time since a run of six between September and November 2019.
Thomas Tuchel is the third manager to see his team concede just one goal in his first five games as a coach in the Premier League. The others are Jose Mourinho with Chelsea and Peter Taylor with Leicester. No manager’s side has kept five clean sheets in their first five games in charge in the competition.
He is aiming to become the first Chelsea manager to win his first three away Premier League games in charge since Carlo Ancelotti won his first three on the road against Sunderland (3-1), Fulham (2-0) and Stoke (2-1) in 2009. He lost the fourth 1-3 to Wigan.
Chelsea have won 21 of our past 28 away Premier League games on the South Coast, losing only two against Southampton in 2013 (1-2) and Bournemouth in 2019 (0-4).