Dec 16, 2017 at 3pm UK at ​Stamford Bridge
Attendance: 41,562
Alonso (45')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Team News: Alvaro Morata on Chelsea bench, Virgil van Dijk dropped by Southampton

Team News: Morata absent, Van Dijk dropped
© Offside
Alvaro Morata is kept out of Chelsea's first XI for the second Premier League game in a row, while Southampton drop Virgil van Dijk.

Alvaro Morata has been kept out of Chelsea's first XI for the second Premier League game in a row, while Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has dropped Virgil van Dijk.

A mixture of a back problem and fatigue kept the forward out of the Blues' recent 3-1 victory over Huddersfield Town, and it appears that Antonio Conte does not deem the Spaniard fit enough to start.

The manager has made just the one change to his side, and that has come in defence, with Antonio Rudiger being replaced with Gary Cahill, who starts alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen in a back three.

The visitors to Stamford Bridge have a new-look side from the one that were hit 4-1 by Leicester City as Southampton boss Pellegrino makes six alterations to the first XI.

Van Dijk has been relegated to the bench following his poor performance, while Dusan Tadic, Steven Davis, Charlie Austin, Mario Lemina and Sofiane Boufal all join him.

Wesley Hoedt, James Ward-Prowse, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Jack Stephens and Manolo Gabbiadini all come into the fray for this afternoon's encounter.

Chelsea: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Kante, Bakayoko, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro
Subs: Caballero, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Drinkwater, Fabregas, Batshuayi, Morata

Southampton: Forster; Soares, Hoedt, Yoshida; Stephens, Bertrand, Romeu, Ward-Prowse; Hojbjerg, Redmond, Gabbiadini
Subs: McCarthy, Davis, Lemina, Van Dijk, Tadic, Boufal, Austin

Follow Sports Mole's live text commentary of the match here.

Mauricio Pellegrino observes the action during the Premier League game between Southampton and Watford on September 9, 2017
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