Mark Lawrenson is predicting that Southampton will end Chelsea FC’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season at St Mary’s on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues have made an impressive start to life under new manager Maurizio Sarri after five successive victories before back-to-back stalemates.
Chelsea FC have put themselves in a promising position to challenge defending champions Manchester City and Liverpool FC for the Premier League title.
Sarri’s men missed out on the chance to land a significant blow to Liverpool FC’s title hopes last weekend following a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard gave the hosts a first-half lead before former Chelsea FC striker Daniel Sturridge came off the bench to score a late equaliser for Jurgen Klopp’s side,
Chelsea FC can make amends this season if the Blues beat Southampton ahead of the meeting between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield in Sunday’s late kick-off.
However, former Reds defender Lawrenson believes the Saints will spring a surprise and beat Chelsea FC at St Mary’s this weekend.
“Imagine the mess Southampton would be in if Danny Ings had not been scoring goals for them?” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“Chelsea have been doing much better, obviously. Their draw with Liverpool was a brilliant game to watch and the Blues played really well.
“I still think Maurizio Sarri’s side can look vulnerable, though, particularly away from home.
“I am not convinced by Antonio Rudiger or David Luiz at the back because they just strike me as a pair who might have one or two off days.
“I know Saints have not won at home yet, and the Blues have not lost away but I think we will see that run of results reverse on Sunday, and I suspect Ings is going to play a big part.”
Chelsea FC have a perfect record against the south coast club in the last three seasons following six successive victories over the Saints.
The Blues have only lost one game in their last 11 meetings with Southampton when the Saints beat Jose Mourinho’s side in March 2013.
Chelsea FC managed to notch up three consecutive victories over Southampton in the Premier League last term despite their well documented struggles under Antonio Conte.
Sarri was appointed as Conte’s replacement in the summer after the former Juventus head coach led Chelsea FC to a disappointing fifth placed finish.
As a result, Chelsea FC missed out on a spot in the Champions League for the second time in three seasons to culminate in Conte’s dismissal.
The Blues were in action against Vida FC at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night and Sarri’s men could suffer from a Europa League hangover at St Mary’s on Sunday.
Southampton have a poor record at home in front of their supporters following a run that has seen the Saints record one win in their last 14 games since November 2017.
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