Chelsea travels to the Saint Mary’s stadium to face Southampton on Tuesday. The blues are coming into this game with much confidence after beating Leicester City 2-1 with 10 men on Saturday.
Southampton lost their last Premier League game against rejuvenated Manchester United on Saturday, but Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side gave Manchester United a tough time and could have equalized if not for the heroics of David de Gea.
However, Thomas Tuchel expects a tough game against Southampton at the Saint Mary’s stadium after watching their defeat to Manchester United and coming from a goal down to beat Leicester City 2-1.
What is Thomas Tuchel’s expectation of heading to the game?
The Chelsea manager on his assessment of the Southampton team and what to expect from the game, Thomas Tuchel said: “I had the chance to watch the game of Southampton [against Manchester United] live and saw a very strong side. They had a huge turnaround at Leicester to win the game, and you could see they gained a lot of confidence from it. They conceded, but they had a lot of touches in the box, a lot of shots against Manchester United, and were very mobile upfront.
“What you can always expect in Southampton is a physical game, a running game, a high-intensity game. This is what it is. We need to recover well and be well prepared to repeat what we did last season.”
Thomas Tuchel also hinted at the selection headache he is facing now regarding Cesar Azpilicueta after his impressive performance against Leicester City.
The Spanish international replaced Mason Mount after the break and helped stabilized Chelsea’s defense.
“At the moment, it is one of the toughest decisions because he trains so well and is in such good shape and status mentally. He is pushing everybody and is fully committed—it’s what you want on the field.
“But if we play 4-4-2, it’s between him or Reece James. It’s a luxury problem we have, but when we changed to a back five [against Leicester], we had the chance to have both of them on the pitch. Without tough decisions, we will get nowhere. We are used to competing for every title at Chelsea, competing at the highest level. If we don’t have tough decisions, it will simply not happen.
“We hope to have 60 matches, but to have 60 matches, we have to have a squad where everybody is ready to place and have a lot of difficult decisions. On Saturday, we ended up, more or less, in a situation where we had almost no more central defenders on the bench. Now we had N’Golo injured and Conor Gallagher with a yellow-red card. So there are not enough tough decisions at the moment. I would like to have more of these. That would mean we are in full competition mode.”
Thomas Tuchel sticks with a 4-4-2 formation for the Southampton game or switches to the usual 3-4-3 formation now that Kalidou Koulibaly is back from suspension.