Antonio Conte says Chelsea captain John Terry may return to the bench for Sunday’s Clash.
The Blues make the trip to the Stadium of Light for a highly anticipated match between Southampton v Chelsea Football Club.
Terry’s return in the Blue’s midweek League Cup defeat at West Ham United found the centre-back struggling in his first appearance following six weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
After three wins without conceding a goal, Chelsea lost out 2-1 to the West Ham and Terry’s error-performance in Conte’s three-man defence is unlikely to have persuaded the boss to keep him in the starting line-up this weekend.
Terry is still yet to master the back three system, he thrived in a four-man defence for most of his career, and he was beaten in the air by Cheikhou Kouyate which gave West Ham their first goal.
Conte then switched Terry over from the central position to the left of the defence just after half-time.
That leaves only Terry, 35, as a potential benchwarmer if Conte brings in Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses to the wing-back roles and puts Cesar Azpilicueta back to central defence.
“I don’t like to talk about individual players. We win together and we lose together in every circumstance,” Conte said.
“It’s logical that John came back from injury and it’s not easy to restart and to find quickly the right shape.
“John is an important player for us, if he plays, if he doesn’t play, for the changing room, for his teammates, for the club.
“I repeat: in this case always it’s important the team and not to think or to speak about an individual player.
“I have always to take the best decision for the team, never for an individual player.”
Southampton vs Chelsea predictions
Eden Hazard has scored in each of his last 2 matches, making him a strong contender for first goalscorer along with Nemanja Matic who has 5 assists to his name already this season. An away win is most likely in this fixture with a price of 7/5 at bet365 =>
Mark Lawrenson’s prediction: 0-2
Paul Merson‘s prediction: 1-1
Don‘t miss: 7/1 Chelsea to beat Southampton =>
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