- Nathaniel Clyne could be back in the Southampton starting XI after missing the Premier League draws against both Stoke and Arsenal due to a knee injury, though Jack Cork could play there again if Clyne doesn't make it.
- Adam Lallana remains absent, while Nigel Adkins may use this game as a chance to rest some of his first team, with the likes of Rickie Lambert starting to tire after a busy Christmas period.
- Kelvin Davis could be back between the posts after Artur Boruc had some shaky moments against Arsenal last time out, with Paulo Gazzaniga another option for that position.
- Rafa Benitez is going to have to juggle the two motives of needing to rest some of his players, who he has admitted are starting to tire, and also not letting his team succumb to another embarrassing loss after the defeat to QPR in midweek.
- Demba Ba has completed his move from Newcastle and could play up front, thereby giving the necessary rest to Fernando Torres, as Benitez has confirmed he needs.
- He will remain without Petr Cech for this game, with the Chelsea no. 1 sustaining a groin injury against Everton, though it is not yet clear exactly how long he will be out.
- John Obi Mikel may return to the starting XI, while Frank Lampard could play in defensive midfield once again.
- Southampton's stalemate against Arsenal was their third draw in a row, and while they moved out of the relegation zone with that result, the league remains their priority with much work still to be done, so this will not mean all that much to the home team.
- Chelsea, will also be prioritising the league, but with Roman Abramovich looking on Rafa Benitez will want to avoid any embarrassment and so will be going all out for victory.
- The Chelsea players are tiring after a tough Xmas schedule, but they will want to continue to battle on this front, particularly after going out of the Champions League. The Blues will attack from the off and should dominate proceedings.
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