In the distant and not-so-distant past Chelsea and Southampton were admired for their defensive scruples, but those heydays seem a long time ago now and their St Mary’s duel looks tailor-made for over 3.5 goals punters.
Having started the campaign like a bullet from a gun the Saints seem to have gone off pop lately, spilling goals in all directions.
Three of their last four home outings have seen Ladbrokes direct the wheelbarrows of cash to the doors of over 3.5 goals shrewdies.
It’s 21/10 that this fixture serves up at least four goals and that’s a price that should be hoovered up like so many shed pine needles.
Chelsea may have kept it tight against Arsenal and Liverpool, but when travelling to sides against whom maximum points are expected the story has been somewhat different.
They have struggled to perfect the balance between defence and attack as much as their hosts recently.
Shipping goals against candy-striped also-rans has become a custom for Mourinho’s men.
Southampton usually share their livery with Sunderland and Stoke and there’s every chance they will lay claim to that duo’s Chelsea-plundering home habits at St Mary’s.
The Saints have notched at least twice in seven of their last eight home games, with the exception coming in the 1-1 home draw against Manchester City.
However disquieting levels of defensive disarray have crept into Mauricio Pochettino’s side of late.
A constantly shifting backline cannot have helped their cohesiveness and Southampton have now gone eight league games without fielding the same centre-half partnership in consecutive games.
During that period they’ve won a solitary game and kept only one clean sheet.
Along with Arsenal, Chelsea were one of the harbingers of the end of the glorious beginning to 2013/14 for their hosts, beating them 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.
An exact repeat of that tally can be invested in at 16/1, while a Chelsea win in a match containing over 2.5 goals looks pretty alluring at 18/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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