MAYA Yoshida is expecting a completely different Chelsea team to the one they drew with at Stamford Bridge back in January.

The defender proved to be a rock at the back for Saints during the goalless draw in London which was a valuable point during their quest to avoid relegation.

But with Chelsea legend and former England icon Frank Lampard at the helm, Yoshida says it’s pivotal that Saints’ preparation is spot on.

He said: “I had a good feeling at Stamford Bridge but it’s a new season and they have a different team and a new manager.

“It’s not the same game. Even we are much better than we were six months ago.

“It will be a new game and a new start and after two defeats against Bournemouth and Tottenham, we need to show good character.

“We need to come back as soon as possible.”

Chelsea are without Eden Hazard who completed a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid in the summer.

Lampard’s side were also unable to sign anyone during the summer transfer window due to an embargo placed on them.

This has led to them picking academy lads such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, with them both enjoying good starts to the season.

Despite Saints going up against a younger Chelsea, Yoshida believes that the St Mary’s side’s advantage is mitigated due to the age of some of their own players.

“We are a young team as well. They are fresh, and we are fresh,” explained the Japanese international.

“We will prepare well because we need to go again.”

Yoshida has often found himself on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s bench for the early part of this season but came back into the starting XI for the games against Sheffield United, Pompey and Tottenham.

Hasenhuttl’s defensive selections have often left more questions than answers, although it looks as though he’s reverted to playing his defenders in their actual positions.

Due to the continual rotating at the back, Yoshida highlighted the importance of taking his chance on the pitch when it presented itself.

The Saints veteran added: “I am always happy to be on the pitch. Especially in the Premier League because it’s different and special.

“I still need to continue to play well because the manager is rotating the players all the time.

“There is still good competition between the players but at the same time, we need to get points and start to win the game.

“We have a difficult game coming up against Chelsea, so we need to rest well and prepare well.”