Chelsea and Southampton will both be missing an important players when they clash in the Premier League on Saturday.
Saints will be without striker Armando Broja, who will be ineligible to face his parent club having arrived at St Mary’s on a season-long loan from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea will be missing world-class talent from their midfield after the news that N’Golo Kante has tested positive for Covid-19, which means he will also be unavailable to face Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday (via Nizaar Kinsella). Right-back Reece James is expected to remain out of action for around one more week.
Broja’s absence certainly limits that forward options that Ralph Hasenhuttl will be able to choose from whilst Chelsea’s illness and injury concerns should be covered by their squad depth.
Southampton boss Hasenhuttl searching for right balance to his team
Despite being impressive in cameos and netting his first two goals for Saints in the League Cup, Armando Broja is yet to start a Premier League game this season.
His superb burst late on against West Ham earlier this month almost won his side a priceless three points as he went close to scoring on three separate occasions and gave Saints fans some of the most exciting football they have seen so far in 2021/22.
He arguably deserves a start soon but that will obviously not come on Saturday against his parent club. Chelsea are said to see him as a top prospect for the future and will be wanting him to continue his development on the South Coast before returning to them next summer.
Ralph Hasenhuttl will have to choose from his mix of other candidates for striker and number 10 roles for the trip to London instead.
Che Adams and Adam Armstrong started as the two strikers in the loss to Wolves last Sunday Nathan Redmond and Mohamed Elyounoussi supported from just behind them, but this setup did not seem to create the volume of clear chances that was needed to win against a very defensive opponent.
It will be Saints’ turn to do most of the defending on Saturday and they will be looking to replicate the same sort of performance that saw them pick up a surprise point at Manchester City recently.