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INSIDE INFO: A Chelsea fan's take on their clash with Southampton tonight

We spoke to a Chelsea fan ahead of tonight's evening kick off between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Tonight looks to be an intriguing contest between Chelsea and Southampton

Chelsea looked to have got over their early season stutter with their win over Arsenal, but then dropped points to a poor Newcastle side before losing to Porto in the Champions League.

Saints also endured a shaky start to the 2015-16 campaign. But, it looks like they have turned the corner following a dominant win over a Swansea City side who have earned plaudits with their opening games of the season.

Many Southampton fans, myself included, can be a little glass half full. Personally, my thinking is in line with that to avoid crushing disappointment in case we do indeed lose, so popular opinion suggests Chelsea have to emerge from their slump at some point - who better to do that than against Saints?

But, Southampton were the only Premier League team to have not been beaten by Chelsea last season, with both teams sharing 1-1 draws home and away.

To get a Chelsea perspective, we spoke to die-hard Blue Greg Grimes for his thoughts ahead of tonight's game at Stamford Bridge.

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St. Mary's Musings: What were your expectations before the season had started and how do they compare to now?

Greg Grimes: I expected to challenge for the title, to reach the knockouts of the Champions League and to go close in one of the cups. Right now I wouldn't be surprised if we still did all that but obviously the league is now much tougher. But, the quality (or lack of) shown by the other sides in the league gives us fans hope. Although, Man City can turn it on and go on a run at any point.

SMM: What was your take on Chelsea's transfer dealings this summer?
GG:
I was disappointed we stood still. Just like champions of past years. Cech leaving was nailed on so Begovic coming in was good. His decision to come has now been justified (results aside). I was happy with Pedro but we signed him as a reaction to our loss against Man City and should have bought him earlier.

Falcao is a mini gamble which I don't think will pay off. But, the alternative would be paying £20m-plus for a back up striker (it's not my money, but still). I think we needed a marquee signing to catch up with the best teams in Europe. Also, to not have a back up plan for Stones was ludicrous.

SMM: To what extent to do you think Jose Mourinho is under pressure?
GG:
He's just won the league so I think talk of sacking him is premature. He's under pressure because the results haven't been good but we know what we have. He guarantees you a trophy or two every other year.

But, this situation is new to him - he's been trying to build a side for 5-10 years' time. He's made some wrong decisions but it will make him better. The club would've sacked him by now if it was a different name and this was 4-5 years ago. Deserves the season and more to come through it.

SMM: What do you think is the reason behind Chelsea's slow start to the season?
GG:
We were off the pace at the start of the season. It was a big mistake to start pre-season as late as we did. A week or so before the community shield we had played one friendly and had two in the US before we started. I get why the club did it to give them more of a rest and to help us in the long term.

But, the side being off the pace produced a lack of confidence. There have been glimpses of that coming back: if you look at the last five results it hasn't been that bad. Losing away at Porto is no disgrace. Ask Bayern last season. It's just those results on the end of an awful start isn't so good.

SMM: If you could sell any Chelsea player right now, who would it be?
GG:
Branislav Ivanovic is clearly out of form. But, his contract runs out in June so you wouldn't get much for him right now.

If Oscar hasn't stepped up his game by summer it would be him. He has so much potential but hasn't fulfilled it. Mourinho predicted this to be his break-out year so if it isn't we can still get double what we paid for him and bring in an attacking mid who'll score goals.

SMM: If you could sign any Saints player, who would it be and why?
GG:
We have an abundance of wide players in the squad and put on loan. But, it would be hard to ignore Sadio Mane. I have rated him since I first saw him at the start of last season. Manchester United were linked with him and I thought it was a mistake they didn't follow that interest up with a big bid.

Mane is a proven Premier League player and although I couldn't comment on how consistent he is, he appears to always be a threat.

SMM: Finally, what do you think the result will be tonight?
GG:
Head says score draw. Could see us giving away an early goal and maybe nicking an equaliser in the second half. Heart says we will turn it around but I thought that the last time we went into an international break before losing at home to Palace!

We would like to thank Greg for his time in talking to us.

COYR!