Premier League Odds, Picks | Chelsea vs Southampton Preview (Feb. 18)
DeFodi Images/Getty. Pictured: Enzo Fernandez.
Chelsea vs Southampton Odds
|2.5 (-113 / -110)
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)
|(+138 / -177)
|Odds via BetRivers. Get the latest soccer odds here.
Chelsea are mired in a four-match winless run but are still a significant favorite on Saturday when they host a Southampton side that has been even more rudderless.
After three consecutive league draws, Chelsea lost 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund in Leg 1 of their round of 16 Champions League tie in the midweek. While hardly a fatal result — Leg 2 is in London — it's more kindling thrown on the fire of pressure growing under Blues boss Graham Potter.
But the worst-case scenario is a mid-table finish. By contrast, Southampton are fighting for their Premier League lives. It's so dire that the Saints sacked their second manager of the season, Nathan Jones, after his team lost from a leading position at home against 10-man Wolves last Sunday.
Southampton defeated Chelsea 2-1 in the teams' previous league meeting in August. To date, it remains the Saints' only home league win of the season.
Chelsea in Consistent Pattern of Struggles
The Blues were among the busiest Premier League clubs during the recently closed winter transfer window. And for two games now, they've had all three of their biggest signings — Joao Felix, Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk — in Potter's starting XI.
But the result was more of the same at least since the end of the World Cup break: A high volume of chances without goals as a reward. Including that Champions League Loss at Dortmund, Chelsea have created 9.8 xG in their last six matches, but they've only scored three times.
Part of this may be due to variance. Over the whole Premier League season, Chelsea have created 26.3 xG and scored 23 times. But for all their winter splurging, the lack of a traditional center-forward option is still a puzzling and ever-present one. It's the kind of structural problem that can cause a club to consistently underachieve against its xG attacking numbers.
Even so, it's not exactly like Potter's team could point to the analytics overall and consider themselves unlucky. They've conceded well fewer goals than their xGA.
Southampton Competing With Spiral
American Jesse Marsch appeared set to become the Saints' third manager of the season. That made conceptual sense, given Marsch has spent considerable time coaching in the same Red Bull Football system as Ralph Hasenhuttl, who began the season in charge at the St. Mary's Stadium.
Instead, talks reportedly fizzled during negotiations over the length of Marsch's contract. So for now Southampton will be led by interim boss Ruben Selles, a former assistant who might be looking at a temporary tenure of months rather than weeks.
The Saints made three key winter additions of their own in midfielder Carlos Alcaraz, winger Kamaldeen Sulemana and striker Paul Onuacho.
That reshaped group was the better team for most of Sunday, only to see 10-man Wolves level through an own-goal and steal three points through Joao Gomes' late thunderbolt.
It was the seventh league loss in Jones' short run of eight games in charge, and it was only the second game in which Southampton created more xG than their opponent.
Chelsea vs Southampton Pick
Chelsea have only won twice in all competitions since the World Cup break ended. And while they are far more secure in the standings, their xG difference is only about five goals better than the Saints' right now.
Further, while the Blues had the far gaudier transfer window, the Saints' additions more directly matched their needs.
Then there's the potential for the infamous "new coach bump" and the fact that Chelsea will be playing for the second time in less than 72 hours after a trip to Germany.
Maybe it's overzealous to pick Southampton to take actual points, but they got in the habit of keeping matches close under Jones, and Chelsea have struggled to distance themselves in matches recently. Play the Saints at +1.5 goals on an Asian Handicap line at -129 odds and an implied 56.3% probability.
All of Southampton's multi-goal defeats have come to teams higher than Chelsea in the table, and the Blues have exactly one win by multiple goals in all competitions since Oct. 16.
As a more aggressive alternative, playing the draw on Chelsea -1 against three-way handicap pays out at +265 odds if Chelsea wins by exactly one.