As he prepares his side to take on Southampton on Wednesday, Rafael Benitez is looking to correct Chelsea’s errant home form that has seen them fall to defeat in their last two matches at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea succumbed to both Queens Park Rangers and Swansea in recent weeks without getting on the score sheet, and Benitez has said that they have to adapt to breaking down defensively-minded opposition.
“The main thing has been the attitude of other teams,” Benitez said, according to Chelsea’s official website. “In the last two games they were very deep; we created some chances but we didn't have much space.
“We didn't have counter-attacks or one against one situations that you would normally have when you play away.
“Teams are playing with too many players behind the ball. It's something that happens when you are a top team playing at home, so we need to address it and be more clinical when we get chances.”
Chelsea had little trouble breaking down Southampton when the sides last met at St Mary’s just 11 days ago. A comprehensive 5-1 victory was more than enough to send Chelsea through to the FA Coup fourth round.
Demba Ba scored twice on his debut that day and Benitez will hope that the recent signing from Newcastle can bring a more clinical edge to his side in contrast to the struggling Fernando Torres.
That heavy defeat for Southampton was out of keeping with a much improved defensive record of late that has seen them climb clear of the relegation zone and lose just two of their last 11 matches in the Premier League.
Young left-back Luke Shaw, who has been linked to Chelsea, is set to miss out after suffering a gash on his right knee in the 1-0 win at Aston Villa on Saturday. Jose Fonte and Adam Lallana remain on the sidelines.
John Terry could make his first start for more than two months for Chelsea, although Benitez has hinted that he will ease the captain back into action. Gary Cahill is likely to return after missing the 4-0 victory at Stoke to be at the birth of his child.
D: Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole
M: Ramires, Luiz
Mata, Oscar, Hazard
D: Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Fox
M: Cork, Schneiderlin
Puncheon, Rodriguez, Ramirez
Prediction: The result promises to be closer than when the sides last met with Southampton unlikely to leave themselves so open. However, they still are not the type of side to just sit back and defend, which is likely to aide Chelsea with their problems at Stamford Bridge.
A narrow win for the home side could be on the cards.
Chelsea 1-0 Southampton
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match will kick-off at 2.45 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Fox Soccer Plus, with a live stream available via Fox Soccer 2Go.