Chelsea will host Southampton tomorrow at Stamford Bridge in their 7th game of this season's Premier League campaign which they started quite remarkably well, until last week's 1-0/loss at home to Manchester City.
The Blues started the season high flying in all competitions, but two consecutive defeats without a goal in their last two games has put pressure on them to deliver when they face a high-pressing side like Southampton at 3 pm on Saturday.
With Liverpool to face Man City on Sunday and Man United up against a tough side like Everton, They will be looking to capitalise and get all three points to steer clear of the above rivals who sit the same point with them on the League table.
However, Southampton is a side which both Manchester United and Manchester City have failed to defeat this season with both times ending with a draw. With that, Chelsea will need to be at their best to be able to break them down and this task could be further difficult as some key members of their first-team squad won't be featuring tomorrow. Here are the players and how their unavailability could negatively impact Chelsea's gameplay tomorrow.
1. N'golo Kante
Kante is undoubtedly Chelsea's strength in the midfield as he is known for his excellent attacking and defending performances match in, match out. Unfortunately, he has been hit by Covid and is reportedly out as we saw in Chelsea's UCL game against Juventus.
His absence in that midfield could cause a lot of leakages and Chelsea could find themselves unable to keep control of the midfield frequent enough to keep Southampton from attacking them so often.
2. Christian Pulisic
An ankle injury sustained during the first World Cup qualifiers matches have kept Pulisic on the sides since the start of the season. He has not featured for Chelsea since week 1 and there is no update regarding when he will be back.
As we have seen since the season started, his absence as a winger has limited Chelsea's attack mostly to the middle and this has been difficult for Tuchel when playing teams that sit back and defend. Also, for counters, the opposition team could easily stop Chelsea as they have no wide attacking players to stretch the play and give space for the strikers and midfielders to run into.
3. Reece James
His absence in their last two matches could mostly be the reason why they failed to score at least a goal. James crossing from the right-wing has and will be missed when they come up against Southampton tomorrow. An injury sustained during Man City's game last week meant he will be on the sides till maybe next week or furthermore.
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