Chelsea plays host to Southampton on Wednesday and will be looking to end a series of poor performances at home as they chase league leaders Manchester City and Manchester United.
- (Photo: Reuters/Darren Staples)
Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez will be hoping his side will be able to put on a good performance at home at Stamford Bridge after two consecutive home defeats that have led to Chelsea fans warning of match protests, should their side's poor home showings continue.
The Blues should be riding high after an impressive 4-0 away win at Stoke over the weekend- the first home defeat for Tony Pulis' side of the season- given that a win would bring them to within four points of second place Manchester City.
The west London club is showing signs that Benitez's influence is starting to work, since Chelsea has won five of their last six Premier League matches, scoring an impressive 18 goals during that span.
Long time captain John Terry is also rumored to be on the bench after recovering from a knee injury that has kept the defender out of league action since Nov. 11. Terry might see limited time after making an appearance late in the match against Stoke.
"The main thing in the last two games was the attitude of the other teams. They had 11 behind the ball and you cannot run behind defenders if they're sitting deep," Benitez told reporters during a press conference.
"But we have to be more clinical when we do create chances. The fans expect to see the team playing good football, scoring goals and winning a lot of games in a row," he added.
For Nigel Adkins and Southampton, their task is far more urgent, given that they sit only two points above the relegation line and cannot afford to drop all three points at Stamford Bridge.
The club has been playing well and is currently riding a 4-match unbeaten run, but they will have to contend with the offensive prowess of Chelsea.
In the pair's last meeting, Chelsea dominated the game and came away with an impressive 5-1 win during the FA Cup at St. Mary's.
"This is the league, a different set of circumstances," Adkins said during a pre-match press conference. "For 40 minutes, we did all right, but then they got on the ball and with Demba Ba they looked an accomplished side."
Kick-off for the match is at 2:45 ET and can be watched online here.