Game week five rolls on as the Premier League continues to champion its ever entertaining advert of the game. In only four games, both Southampton and Chelsea hold one thing in common in that both sides have come away 2-1 victors in respective encounters with Leicester City. These two outfits will discover their differences, however, this Tuesday as the league table begins to take place ahead of a long and no doubt, eventful term of football.
St Mary’s will be host for the second time in four days after serving as venue for Manchester United’s 1-0 victory on Saturday. Although competing righteously, Southampton receive no mercy from the Premier League fixture list, having to play Chelsea shortly after their shortcoming defeat. So far this season, The Saints have been far from holy as they continue to honour the turbulent conclusive months of their previous campaign. Hasenhuttl oversaw form that read one win in their final thirteen fixtures including ten defeats to overstate the inefficiency of the team. Such form has continued this season, although it must be appreciated that their only two losses have come at the hands of Tottenham and Manchester United.
Fixtures have included a valiant comeback to rescue a point against Leeds, a smash and grab performance against Leicester and a recent compelling victory in the second round of the EFL Cup against Cambridge. It could be suggested that Southampton have improved based on the what they have displayed so far this season, and the proposition would be a respectable one. The Saints have certainly brought fight to the pitch when they have needed it. The fight they showed against Leeds to mount a comeback was not seen from Chelsea when they were poised in the exact same position. Instead, Tuchel’s men have failed to show heart, or at least an attitude fit for winning football games constantly. On more than one occasion already, Hasenhuttl’s Southampton have draped themselves in the image of a football team that will fall only when the final whistle is blown and it’s that attitude that give them a considerable opportunity against Chelsea.
The Blues fail to show such character, however, they have shown that they are indeed Chelsea and should be further respected. So far, Tuchel’s side have displayed their ability to hold onto the advantage they have going into the dying embers of the game. This was flaunted against Everton away and most recently Leicester on Saturday as they protected only a single goal advantage in both games resulting in victory. This observation would have further fuel if Premier League officials didn’t advertise such incompetency when Tottenham visited Stamford Bridge. If the fixture was officiated adequately, Chelsea would display a better record heading south this Tuesday and the humiliating slaughter away at Leeds would have seemed merely, yet concerningly, a blip. Non the less, Chelsea are showing signs of a slow start off the blocks with their only performance of brilliance coming at home to Spurs. After service his one match ban, Thomas Tuchel will hope The Blues will finally flex their muscles and begin to soar with the talented squad at their proposal.
Conclusively, Tuesday evening will be an evening of two teams with so much to prove. So far, disappointing and in dire need of a boost. In a thirty-eight game season, it’s the missed opportunities to gain points that will hurt you as teams gather distance from one another. Both Chelsea and Southampton will be considering this as they lock horns at St Mary’s stadium.