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Chelsea-Southampton Preview

Following more success in the Europa League, Chelsea return to the domestic front looking to get back to their winning ways in the Premier League.

Though still unbeaten in the top-flight, the visiting Blues try for their first league victory in three weeks Sunday whilst attempting to continue their recent dominance of struggling Southampton.

Often-maligned forward Alvaro Morata scored in the 70th minute Thursday to send Chelsea to a 1-0 victory over Hungarian side MOL Vidi in Europa League group play. The Blues have won their first two matches in the competition, but now must shift that focus to Premier League, where their early dominance has subsided some.

Chelsea (5-2-0) opened with five consecutive victories but have drawn their last two top-flight fixtures since bouncing Cardiff City 4-1 on Sept. 15. Somewhat disappointedly at West Ham United - where the Blues failed to score for the first time on the campaign - then 1-1 in a thrilling contest against Liverpool last weekend at Stamford Bridge.

Eden Hazard opened the scoring in the 25th minute for Chelsea, which remained in charge of the match until the 89th minute when Daniel Sturridge equalized for the Reds and shattered the hearts of Blues fans at the London pitch.

"Obviously, we have worked to get the three points and to concede that goal is disappointing," defender Cesar Azpilicueta told Chelsea's official website. "We changed the manager and we changed our style of play - it's a new dynamic and we have been working since preseason to improve and be a strong team. We know we can still improve and we will work hard.

"We have lost two points in both our last two (Premier League) games, so obviously we want to get three points as much as we can. We weren't able to in the last two games so we need to improve because every time we go onto the pitch, we want to win."

With fellow unbeatens Liverpool and Manchester City squaring off following the conclusion of this match, third-place Chelsea are pining for a victory and the chance to potentially move up in the table.

The Blues will try for a seventh consecutive victory against Southampton (1-2-4) over all competitions. Azpilicueta assisted on a Morata goal during Chelsea's 2-0 League Cup semifinal victory over the Saints in April.

Southampton (1-2-4) enter the weekend a frustrating 16th in the table after being outscored 5-0 in consecutive league defeats at Liverpool and surging promoted side Wolverhampton. The Saints will also try a fourth time for their first top-flight victory at St. Mary's, where they are 0-2-1 on the campaign.

However, they have a bit of momentum after beating Everton on penalties at Goodison Park during League Cup play this week.

"It is important to win games," manager Mark Hughes told Southampton's official website. "We've performed OK up until now, but you have to back it up with results and we did that against Everton."

Hughes mentioned that his team is solid in terms of fitness as they prepare for the challenge that awaits this weekend against the Blues.

Updated October 5, 2018

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