Chelsea are once again looking to kick-start their Premier League title defence when they entertain Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
After the victory against Arsenal two weeks ago it seemed that the Blues may have turned a corner but things have been brought back down to earth with a bump. A draw against Newcastle and a loss at FC Porto in Europe indicate this is more than short-term problem for Jose Mourinho.
The biggest concern for the champions is clear for all to see. The defence has now conceded 18 goals in all competitions and have conceded the second most in the whole of the Premier League. It seems only a matter of time before Branislav Ivanovic is dropped and Mourinho may soon even consider putting an extra man in his backline.
Diego Costa sits out the final match if his three-match domestic so Loic Remy or Radamel Falcao will continue to deputise.
Ramires may be given a start after his impressive cameo last week, while Willian will look to add to his three goals from free kicks in his last three games.
Thibaut Courtois is the only injury problem for the champions.
Southampton have been resurgent following their tricky start to the season. Their comfortable 3-1 victory over Swansea last week will give them confidence as they aim for a first win away at Chelsea since 2002.
Ronald Koeman’s side, who have nine points from their opening seven games, are starting to welcome back a number of key players.
Ryan Bertrand looks set to continue at left-back after playing 90 minutes last week, while summer capture Jordy Clasie finally looks set to gain a place on the bench after returning to training.
Koeman will hope these returning players will help the Saints to a first away win in 10 league attempts. Being unbeaten away so far this term offers encouragement, while the defence has improved immensely since the start of the campaign, conceding just four times in their last five league matches.
Fraser Forster is now the only significant injury absentee for Koeman to worry about.
League Position: Chelsea – 14th, 8 pts; Southampton – 10th, 9 pts
Last Meeting: Chelsea 1-1 Southampton, March 2015
Key Men: Chelsea – Willian; Southampton – Sadio Mane
Form: Chelsea – LWLLWD; Southampton –LDWDLW
Shoot Says: Chelsea 2-1 Southampton