Mauricio Pochettino hopes to get one over an old friend by helping Southampton become the first team to win a league game at Stamford Bridge during José Mourinho’s reign as Chelsea boss.
The Blues have never been beaten on their own turf during the Portuguese’s two spells as manager, which has spanned three-and-a-half-years and 66 undefeated home league fixtures.
But Pochettino, who came up against Mourinho when the pair were managing in Spain’s top division, is ready to shatter that record this Sunday.
“It is amazing what he (Mourinho) has done at Stamford Bridge,” Mauricio told Saints Player this afternoon.
“Full praise to him because what he has done across both stints at Chelsea has been great. We will go there trying to break that statistic and break that record.
“Chelsea are always Chelsea – they have amazing players and an amazing manager.
“We know that they have lost very few games at Stamford Bridge and that their record there is amazing, so we are fully aware that we are going to be facing a very tough side.
“It will be a tough game but we go there with the right mentality.”
Saints suffered only their second league defeat of the season last weekend having been beaten 2-0 away at leaders Arsenal.
Both goals in that match came as a result of errors, with Artur Boruc’s indecision having been punished for Olivier Giroud’s first and his second strike coming from the penalty spot after José Fonte had handled.
And Pochettino says the team has been working hard on the training ground this week to lessen the chances of any such mistakes this time out.
“The team is in good spirits,” he said. “We have been working very well all week long and we are fully focused on the game ahead.
“We have analysed our mistakes thoroughly to learn as much as we can from them, and the team is doing very well mentally.
“Mistakes happen in football, but they also happen in every day life. If you make a mistake in every game it will cost you a lot of points, whether you are playing against a big team or a small team.
“We have to learn from it and make sure that it doesn’t happen again, and that is what we have been working on this week.
“We have watched the game back a lot to try and learn as much as we can from our mistakes in order to put on a good performance on Sunday.”
In terms of team news, Pochettino confirmed that Guly do Prado (knee) and Kelvin Davis (glute) will miss this weekend’s trip to the capital.
However, Jack Cork is set to return to the squad after recovering from the ankle injury he picked up in training during the international break.
Luke Shaw has shaken off the dead leg he was forced off with at Arsenal last week, while Gastón Ramírez also looks set to return to the squad after missing out at the Emirates.