Chelsea defender David Luiz was booked for a yellow card after tugging Joe Allen in the second half of the Sunday, Dec. 29 match against Liverpool. As a result, Luiz will be suspended for Week 20's match against Southampton.
Following the match, Premier League provided a statement of Luiz discussing the match on Sky Sports:
The Brazilian's absence won't be easy for Chelsea to overcome, as he is easily one of the top defenders in the Premier League and cannot be replaced without it having an effect on the team.
He had started the past two contests and played very well, though his tendency to wander out of position has hurt him this season. In his stead, Gary Cahill will likely see the start against Southampton.
Luiz could not have chosen a worse time to be penalized and suspended. He left action with his team leading against Liverpool, 2-1, and maintaining their spot at No. 3 on the table will be crucial.
In terms of Week 20 against Southampton, Luiz's absence isn't nearly as threatening. Sure, Chelsea would rather play with him than without him, but a match against the No. 9 team on the table is still winnable even without Luiz.
Southampton just suffered a 2-1 loss to Everton in Week 19. They will be looking to make improvement heading into a much tougher match against Chelsea. If that's any indication of where the team is, then Chelsea should be at an advantage.
Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert are talented goalscorers, but the available defensemen are more than capable of keeping them in check.
Chelsea should be just fine without Luiz for one match considering their surrounding talent and their inferior opponent.