Who: Chelsea vs. Southampton
What: English Premier League make-up game
Where: Stamford Bridge, London, England, UK
When: Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Weather: The Weather Channel forecast
Time: 19:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT
Television: Fox Soccer Plus (Live); Fox Soccer Channel (Tape Delay, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)
Worldwide and : LiveSoccerTV.com
Referee: Michael Oliver
3-Way Odds: Chelsea -588, Southampton +1100, Draw +450
Total: Over 2½ -200, Under 2½ +150
Decimal Odds: Chelsea 1.17, Southampton 12.00, Draw 5.50
Decimal Total: Over 2½ 1.50, Under 2½ 2.50
Fractional Odds: Chelsea 17/100, Southampton 11/1, Draw 9/2
Fractional Total: Over 2½ 1/2, Under 2½ 3/2
Source: sportsbook.com (Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles)
Alternate Point Spreads
Chelsea -2 +110, Southampton +2 -140
Chelsea -1½ -165, Southampton +1½ +125
Over 3½ +125, Under 3½ -165
Source: Bovada (Kahnawake, Canada)
The Saints go marching into West London to face Chelsea in this English Premier League game, originally scheduled for Dec. 15 but rescheduled because of the Blues' participation in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Southampton (5-6-10) feel a little bit better about their spot in the top flight heading into this one after a controversial 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Villa Park, which lifted the Saints into 15th place and two points (21) above the dreaded relegation zone.
Manager Nigel Adkins and Southampton saw leading scorer Rickie Lambert convert on a 34th minute penalty kick for his ninth score of the season, as the Saints earned the needed three points away from home and the double against Villa.
The win was only the Saints' second on the road this season (2-2-6, 13 goals for, 24 goals against), and if the visitors are to head into Stamford Bridge and hope to pull off the upset, other players like Jason Puncheon (3 goals), Gastón Ramírez (3), Adam Lallana (2) and Jay Rodriguez (2) will really have to shine.
Another Southampton guy who will have to be at his best against the European champions is goalkeeper Artur Boruc, a 32-year-old Polish international who transferred in from Fiorentina over the summer.
Despite the dominating 5-1 win that Chelsea registered over Southampton at St. Mary's Stadium in the third round of the FA Cup on Jan. 5, Boruc played an impressive game in net against an overwhelming Blues attack.
Chelsea (12-5-4) enter this game in third place with 41 points and, with a win, can gain a necessary three here against first-place Manchester United (55 points) and second-place Manchester City (48) in the league table.
Manager Rafael Benítez and the Blues are coming off an impressive 4-0 win at Stoke City on Saturday, the first home loss of the season for the Potters, and besides getting the victory, Chelsea welcomed legends Petr Čech (groin) and John Terry (knee) back from injuries.
The club has been very solid defensively lately and is tied with Manchester City for allowing the least number of goals in the league (19).
Chelsea have allowed just two goals in four games this calendar year and have posted two straight shutouts (Swansea City, Stoke City).
The Blues are 20-12-12 in 44 lifetime games against Southampton at home and have outscored the Saints, 69-53, in those previous meetings.
Chelsea are 7-2-2 over the last 11 in this series, have outscored Southampton, 23-11—with 14 of those goals in the last four games—and have registered five clean sheets along the way.
With the depth of their talented roster now ready to be exploited and their defense consistently holding it down in the back, Chelsea will roll over Southampton in what should be a high-scoring affair at Stamford Bridge.
BETS: Chelsea -1½ -165, Over 2½ -200
PREDICTION: Chelsea 4 Southampton 1
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