Chelsea - Swansea City Preview: Blues looking for first win in five against Laudrup's men
After a good win at Basel in the Europa League attention turns back to the Premier League for Rafa Benitez's men in a busy month, while the visitors aim to end their bad run
By Tom McKeown
Rafa Benitez is again set to rotate his side and make changes from the 2-1 win at Basel on Thursday night, with Demba Ba, John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata set for a return to the starting line-up.
David Luiz, who lined up in midfield in Switzerland and scored the winning goal, is likely to return to the Blues’ defence with Gary Cahill starting on the bench as he did on Thursday after recovering from a knee injury.
Swansea, meanwhile, have no injury or suspension issues so Michael Laudrup is likely to name the same side that drew 0-0 with Southampton. Neil Taylor is back in the Swans squad after seven months out with a broken ankle, but is likely to start on the bench as he did last weekend.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea have not enjoyed playing the Swans recently, having failed to win any of their last four meeting in all competitions, drawing three and losing one.
- The Blues have picked up three red cards in their last five meetings with the Welsh side, with Eden Hazard’s infamous sending off for kicking a ball-boy the most recent.
- If Frank Lampard (pictured right) gets on the scoresheet he will have scored against 38 different teams in the Premier League, matching the record set by Andy Cole. Lampard is 7/5 with bet365 to score anytime against the Swans.
- Fernando Torres scored in this fixture last season but was sent off ten minutes later, with the Blues going on to win the game 4-1.
- Petr Cech has the best clean sheet ratio (0.49 per game) in Premier League history and one more will put him above David Seaman in the all-time clean sheet list with 141.
- Swansea have only one won of their six matches since winning the Capital One Cup.
- When Michu has scored, Michael Laudrup’s side have lost only two games this season in all competitions.
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Top 3 Predictions
Chelsea FC 3-0 Swansea City
- 19.46 %
Chelsea FC 2-0 Swansea City
- 16.66 %
Chelsea FC 3-1 Swansea City
- 15.98 %
|Premier League (EPL)||26 Dec 2013||Chelsea FC 1 - Swansea City 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Apr 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Swansea City 0|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||23 Jan 2013||Swansea City 0 - Chelsea FC 0|
|Capital One Cup (CCUP)||9 Jan 2013||Chelsea FC 0 - Swansea City 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||3 Nov 2012||Swansea City 1 - Chelsea FC 1|
|8 Mar 2014||Chelsea FC 4 - Tottenham 0||EPL|
|1 Mar 2014||Fulham 1 - Chelsea FC 3||EPL|
|26 Feb 2014||Galatasaray 1 - Chelsea FC 1||UCL|
|22 Feb 2014||Chelsea FC 1 - Everton 0||EPL|
|15 Feb 2014||Manchester City 2 - Chelsea FC 0||FA|
|12||John Obi Mikel||Midfielder|
|20||Jonathan De Guzmán||Midfielder|
The Belgium man has been in sparkling form in recent games, staging a late challenge for Juan Mata’s spot as Chelsea’s best player this season. His performances of late have displayed his vast array of talents as he has produced tricky runs, dangerous shots and strong tackles. The midfielder will inevitably be jeered by the visiting fans after the ball-boy fiasco but expect the 22-year-old to respond in style.
|Jonathan De Guzmán|
Perhaps not the most obvious choice for a player to watch, but De Guzman will be a key player for Swansea in this game as the visitors will need to stifle Chelsea’s creative midfield trio if they want any sort of result. The 25-year-old has been an integral part of Michael Laudrup’s side this season, proving strong in the tackle and regularly supporting attacks, chipping in with the odd goal of his own.
The fixtures are coming thick and fast for Rafa Benitez’s men, but they will be desperate to get their top-four push back on track after dropping points in last weekend’s dramatic draw with Liverpool. Swansea, meanwhile, already have a trophy in the bag and have secured their Premier League status for another season. It’s often said teams with nothing to play for are the most dangerous, but Chelsea will be up for this one.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed