Chelsea vs Southampton Odds, Pick, Preview: A Premier League Prop for Saturday
Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images. Pictured: Romelu Lukaku.
- Chelsea welcomes Southampton to Stamford Bridge for Saturday's Premier League matchup (10 a.m. ET/USA Network).
- The Blues, who are big -260 favorites to win this game, have lost back-to-back matches for just the second time in the Thomas Tuchel era.
- Soccer analyst Anthony Dabbundo takes a deep look at this meeting below and delivers his top selection.
|Over/Under||2.5 (-125 / +100)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||USA Network | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Chelsea lost their first Premier League game of the season at home to Manchester City last Saturday and now enters an easier stretch of their schedule having already played City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Liverpool this season.
That easier stretch begins Saturday against Southampton, who are still looking for its first win of the 2021-22 as the Saints make the trip to Stamford Bridge. Southampton sit just one point above the relegation zone with four points, having drawn four and lost two of their opening six matches.
The Blues’ won the Champions League and finished in the top four last season in the Premier League because of their defense, but the early season returns suggest that Chelsea haven’t been quite as dominant defensively, even if they haven’t been totally punished for it yet.
The market is still treating Chelsea’s defense like it’s as dominant as it was last year. The underlying numbers suggest it’s near impossible to sustain that level of performance.
Chelsea Looking Less Invincible After Hot Start
The Blues have lost back-to-back games for just the second time in the Thomas Tuchel era. Consecutive losses at home to Manchester City in the league and away to Juventus in the Champions League are far from bad defeats, but they do highlight some chinks in the Chelsea armor.
Chelsea was the best defense in the Premier League in the second half of last season, but the Blues are only ninth in expected goals allowed. Some of that is inflated due to a half they played at Anfield down a man, but the Blues have also conceded at least 0.8 xG in six consecutive matches in all competitions.
The Blues defense was unsustainably elite at the end of the 2020-21 season. Now, teams are finding that one counter attack or one through ball to create that one big chance that Chelsea were simply not allowing last season. They’re still a good defense but not nearly as dominant.
Chelsea have dropped to third in my Premier League power ratings behind Liverpool following their last six game stretch of mediocre play. Some of that can be attributed to injuries, COVID-19 and bad form. Mason Mount is returning from injury; N’Golo Kanté tested positive for COVID-19 and is out; and, Kai Havertz hasn’t been at his best to begin the new season.
The loss of Kanté in midfield makes Chelsea much less defensively solid, and Saints should create enough chances to score in this match.
Southampton Needs Points at Stamford Bridge
Saints have played better than their position in 16th suggests thus far this season. After a tough start to the season, similar to 2020-21, Southampton’s performances improved considerably in the last four league matches, but they haven’t been rewarded with results.
Southampton were unlucky to only draw with Newcastle, outplayed Wolves and West Ham for long stretches of those matches and only managed one total point. Saints also defended the Cityzens’ attack better than anyone in the league this season.
The Saints only managed four goals from 7.5 xG and if they continue their same level of offensive performance, they’d be expected to score more goals than they have through six matches.
Southampton rank in the top half of the table in both attacking-final-third and penalty-area touches, they press as much as any team in the league and sustained pressure has given Chelsea trouble in the last two league matches against Manchester City and the first half against Spurs.
Manager Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side can apply enough pressure to create one or two big chances in this match and is due to regress positively in the finishing department.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Chelsea’s overrated defense and Southampton’s underrated attack are not being correctly priced into the market here. The Blues had one of the most dominant defenses the league has ever seen, but that was then. Now, they look merely like a good defense and one Southampton can cause problems against in this match.
The Saints showed last year they could turn Chelsea over with ball pressure and create two big chances from that, and I think they’ll get on the board in this matchup.
My projections put both teams to score at 53%, so anything plus money is good on both teams to score in this matchup.
Pick: Both Teams to Score — Yes (+100 or better)
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