Southhampton vs Chelsea
Venue: St. Mary’s Stadium
Kick off: 12:30PM
Southampton face a crucial clash with Chelsea at lunchtime as they battle to survive relegation.
The Saints are three points from safety with six games left to play.
They also face Chelsea in the semi-finals of the FA Cup next weekend.
Saints are without defender Jack Stephens after he was sent off in the 3-2 defeat to Arsenal last weekend.
That could mean a debut in a five-man defence for 22-year-old Jan Bednarek, who joined last summer from Lech Poznan but has so far only featured in cup competitions.
“I’ve got options which I’m grateful for, but obviously you want continuity,” said Saints boss Mark Hughes on Thursday.
“Bednarek’s a good young player, he came here for a significant amount of money, and he’s played at a good level in Poland, in front of huge crowds. So it’s not as if he hasn’t got experience of operating at high level with pressure to perform.
“He’s only 22, it’s his birthday today in fact, but if I make the decision that he’s going to be involved, then I’ve got no qualms with that.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea have won just one of their last five Premier League matches and are 10 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham.
Southampton have only won one of their nine Premier League games against Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium (D2 L6), winning 2-1 in March 2013 thanks to goals from Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert.
Only Manchester United (10) have won more away games at St Mary’s Stadium in all competitions than Chelsea have (7).
Since the start of 2016-17, Southampton have failed to win any of their 22 Premier League matches against sides starting the day in the top six.
If Southampton lose this game, Hughes will become only the second manager to lose three Premier League games against the same opponent in a single season after Graeme Souness.
Southampton possible XI: McCarthy, Soares, Yoshida, Hoedt, Bertrand, Hoejbjerg, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Long, Austin.
Chelsea possible XI: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill, Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso, Willian, Morata, Hazard.