Chelsea have endured a difficult, disappointing season and a host of factors are responsible for that. Antonio Conte’s season has been extremely inconsistent, as the Blues have managed only three league wins in 2018. They have fallen rather drastically in the table and currently sit in the fifth position with as many as ten points separating them and fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
They will face Southampton, who themselves are in the relegation zone and hence this tie would carry utmost importance for both the teams. Here we look at three key battles that can decide the outcome of this match:
Charlie Austin vs Andreas Christensen:
Charlie Austin (yeah, the man who saves Southampton’s blushes EVERY SINGLE TIME) has made his comeback from an injury after a long layoff of around three months. Austin was very impressive before his prolonged injury trouble and even scored in the last match, which was his second game since returning. Austin is physically imposing and likes to play on the shoulders of the defender and his physicality coupled with astute finishing technique and the ability to link up with his teammates makes him a worthy opponent for any defensive unit.
He will definitely target Andreas Christensen as the Dane has been exposed as a weak link in recent matches despite putting up some sturdy and inspiring performances early in the season. And the outcome of this will go a long way in determining whether Chelsea can keep a clean sheet after a long time.