Chelsea Starting XI Prediction at Southampton FC

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When Chelsea take to the pitch on Saturday midday, in their road match at Southampton FC, it will be intriguing to see if midfielder N’Golo Kante and winger Christian Pulisic will start after having spent a lot of time on the bench since the arrival of new manager Thomas Tuchel. Both cases are a bit head-scratching.

With the former, you have a previous PFA Player of the Year who is wanted by big clubs all over the world. With the latter, you have Chelsea’s most important and best player during the Project Restart period. Tuchel actually gave Pulisic his first chance to feature with a senior team, anywhere in football, when the pair were at Borussia Dortmund together.

Chelsea at Southampton FYIs

Kickoff: Sat Feb 20, 12:30 GMT, St. Mary’s Stadium

Team news for both sides: go here

Odds: Southampton win +375, Chelsea win -139, Draw is +270

PL Form Guide:  Southampton  LLLLL      Chelsea  WWWWD

PL Position:   Southampton 13th, 29 points    Chelsea 4th, 42 points

Both have battled injuries recently, so there is that. With Pulisic, Tuchel did give an explanation as to why he went unused against Newcastle, but it didn’t provide a whole lot of clarity. The only real justification here, and this narrative I admit is pushing it a bit, is this- Tuchel knows what he has already in Pulisic, having managed him before.

Thus, he’s using his lineups right now to figure out what else he has in the rest of the team. Can’t imagine the 22-year-old American would be pleased with this excuse though!

This situation needs to get resolved somehow, because Pulisic is a bench-warmer right now and that cannot stand.

Chelsea Starting XI Prediction at Southampton FC 

Edouard Mendy; Cesar Azpilicieta, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Ben Chilwell; Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Hakim Ziyech; Mason Mount, Timo Werner; Olivier Giroud

Prediction: Chelsea 2, Southampton 0

Blues are dominant in the back, and solid in the middle of the park, but they still need to get their attack clicking at some point.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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