Luiz Filipe Scolari now realises how tough it is to win a Premier League title, he could have been forgiven for thinking it was going to be easy, after making a very strong start to the campaign, but things have gone badly recently and he will have to make some big changes.
He cannot let the full backs get forward so often,which is his preferred style, as it is causing the central defenders to get pulled out of position to cover, they might get away with this against lesser teams, but will get caught out against the better sides. Drogba has been dropped tonight and Anelka will start on his own up front, he is someting of a bully, who loves to beat up the weaker teams (ten of his 14 domestic goals have come against teams in the bottom eight), so, no doubt he is looking forward to tonight and we might even see a smile on his face, which is about as rare as a George W Bush gaff free press conference !
I rate this a huge game for the visitors , they are desperate for both a win and a performance, to restore some confidence in the squad, this ship needs to be steadied and it had better be tonight ! Southend are a little better than their league position might suggest, but endured a woeful December, with a 1-0-4 record and 1-9 goal difference, before going to Stamford Bridge and earning a very fortunate late equaliser. That was their only attempt on target in 90 minutes and Chelsea had missed twelve, including at least three "one on one" chances. I expect a very strong line up from Scolari , a professional performance and comfortable win, another poor showing, especially one on national television, would be unthinkable.
5.5 points Chelsea -1.75 goals 2.13 asian line.