ST MARY’S (Sporting Alert) Chelsea have decided to hand new signing Demba Ba an immediate starts up front for Chelsea for today’s English FA Cup third round tie with fellow Premier League outfits Southampton.
Ba, who made the switch from Newcastle earlier this week, trained with the team on Friday and manager Rafa Benitez has decided on handed the striker his Chelsea debut and drop Fernando Torres to the bench.
Also on the bench for Chelsea are midfielder Frank Lampard and Oscar, alongside Marko Marin and Ryan Bertrand.
Ross Turnbull continues in goal for the defending champions, with Petr Cech still out, while Ramires, David Luiz, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Victor Moses all start the game.
For Southampton, leading striker Rickie Lambert starts on the bench, but James Ward-Prowse and Jay Rodriguez both return to the side.
Southampton vs Chelsea Teams
Southampton: Boruc, Cork, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Puncheon, Steven Davis, Schneiderlin, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Rodriguez.
Subs: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Lambert, Lee, Mayuka, Reeves, De Ridder.
Chelsea: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Luiz, Mata, Hazard, Moses, Ba
Subs: Hilario, Lampard, Torres, Oscar, Ferreira, Marin, Bertrand.