There was plenty to admire about Southampton in their dogged 1-1 draw at the Etihad, especially given they’d played 90 minutes at the San Siro just three days prior. Victory over Sunderland in the EFL Cup mid-week was their third fixture in six days but Claude Puel has been able to rotate his team, using no less than 20 different players since the international break.
There’s no doubt the Frenchman will return to his best XI with the visit of Chelsea on Sunday, who were able to rest a few key players in their EFL defeat to West Ham. Making a tactical change to a 3-5-2 formation following damming defeats against Arsenal and Liverpool has seen Conte’s team flourish as they’ve scored nine unanswered goals in their last three matches. Following United’s pathetic efforts last weekend this new system has yet to be truly tested but that’s sure to change against a Saints side that have won 11 of their last 14 home matches.
The South-Coast club are unbeaten at St. Mary’s this season and last term they recorded impressive victories over Arsenal and Man City. Furthermore, they have one of the stronger defences in the league and the front three of Austin, Redmond and Tadic have been combining wonderfully. They certainly have the capacity to topple the Blues so we’ll back them at 3.2 to beat a Chelsea side that we think still has a few question marks over them.
Best Bet: Southampton Win at 3.2