Chelsea at Southampton Team News: Kante, Pulisic, Rudiger, McCarthy

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n'golo kante

Chelsea FC head to struggling Southampton on Sunday in a Premier League fixture that precedes the second international break of the season. The Blues are coming off a 2-1 victory, exactly as we predicted, over Lille in midweek Champions League competition.

Chelsea are really starting to show signs of coming together under young manager Frank Lampard’s master plans of highlighting his youth players. The plan doesn’t include £54 million 21-year-old winger Christian Pulisic however. The American who was acquired from Borussia Dortmund was left out entirely of the UCL squad, after having been benched in three of the previous four.

At this point, he seems relegated to cup competition, for whatever reason. Meanwhile N’Golo Kante, a former PFA Player of the Year who has struggled with injury much of this season, returned in midweek, and will be monitored here.

He should play, but precautions could be taken. Elsewhere defenders Antonio Rudiger and Emerson Palmieri remain out, as is long-term absentee Ruben Loftus-Cheek. For the hosts, winger Moussa Djenepo and defender Cedric Soares remain long term injury absentees.

Meanwhile second team goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has recovered from his muscular injury and is expected to be in contention, if needed.

southampton

Chelsea FC at Southampton FC FYIs

Kickoff: Oct. 6, 2pm St. Mary’s

Chelsea Starting XI Prediction: go to this link

Form Guide: Chelsea WLWDW  Southampton LLWDW

Google’s result probability: 49% Chelsea win, 26% draw, 25% Southampton victory

Prediction: Chelsea 3, Southampton 1

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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