Like so many others, the midfielder, who joined the Blues aged nine, impressed in the youth and reserve teams but never got a chance in the first team.
Cork was instead farmed out to six different clubs on loan, before permanently leaving Chelsea to link up with Southampton two years ago.
The 23-year-old will line up against his boyhood club at the end of a week in which Frank Arnesen, the Blues' former chief scout and director of youth development, accused the west Londoners of failing to give youngsters like Cork a chance.
"We had quite a good team, especially when Frank was there and Brendan Rodgers was doing the youth and reserve teams," Saints midfielder Cork said.
"We had a good set of young players that have all gone onto play quite a high standard now so it would have been interesting to see where they would be if they had been given a chance.
"But at the same time, that was a time when Chelsea were doing really well in every competition they were involved in so I can understand why nobody was really given a chance."