Premier League Preview: Swansea - Chelsea
Blues will need the Spaniard on song to score at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday where the Swans have one of the best defensive records in the Premier League
By Nathan Lowe
Williams, Caulker, Taylor, Rangel
Allen, Britton, Sigurdsson
Dyer, Graham, Sinclair
Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cole
Romeu, Essien, Meireles
Sturridge, Torres, Mata
Expect Nathan Dyer, Danny Graham and Scott Sinclair to return to the starting XI, while Joe Allen and Leon Britton should return to the side in place of Josh McEachran and Kemy Agustien.
Andre Villas-Boas will be without Ramires, who injured his right knee in Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup victory over QPR. Frank Lampard is a doubt for the match due to a calf strain, while Jon Obi Mikel is out with a hamstring and Didier Drogba also misses the tie due to African Cup of Nations duty.
Fernando Torres will likely continue in attack alongside Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge for the visitors, and Michael Essien may be in line for a start as he looks to fully complete his injury comeback.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Chelsea have only lost once in the 10 ten Premier League matches, but only won twice in the last seven.
- Fernando Torres (right) hasn't found the back of the net for 16 matches in all competitions.
- The London club has scored 16 goals on their travels this season, less than any other top five side.
- The Blues defeated Swansea 4-1 at Stamford Bridge earlier this season with Torres, Lampard, Terry and Drogba all on target.
- Swansea have lost just once at the Liberty Stadium this term, collecting more points at home than any side outside the top six.
- Rodgers' men have conceded just six times on friendly turf this season, equalling Manchester City for best in the league.
- Swansea loaned midfielder Josh McEachran from the Blues in mid-January.
- Chelsea's John Terry will answer allegations of racism against QPR's Anton Ferdinand the day after the Swansea match.
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Top 3 Predictions
Swansea 0-3 Chelsea FC
- 20.59 %
Swansea 0-2 Chelsea FC
- 19.71 %
Swansea 1-2 Chelsea FC
- 11.01 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Dec 26, 2013||Chelsea FC 1 - Swansea 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 28, 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - Swansea 0|
|England - Capital One Cup(League Cup) (CCUP)||Jan 23, 2013||Swansea 0 - Chelsea FC 0|
|England - Capital One Cup(League Cup) (CCUP)||Jan 9, 2013||Chelsea FC 0 - Swansea 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 3, 2012||Swansea 1 - Chelsea FC 1|
|Mar 2, 2014||Swansea 1 - Crystal Palace 1||EPL|
|Feb 27, 2014||SSC Napoli 3 - Swansea 1||EL|
|Feb 23, 2014||Liverpool 4 - Swansea 3||EPL|
|Feb 20, 2014||Swansea 0 - SSC Napoli 0||EL|
|Feb 16, 2014||Everton 3 - Swansea 1||FA|
The wideman’s great form has been turning heads this season, enough that some have tossed his name around for the England national team. Dyer fancies the opportunity, saying "it’s always been a big ambition of mine and it’s nice for people to talk about it." Another standout performance against one of the country's marquee clubs would surely boost his ambitions.
The Ghanaian may earn his first start this season after returning earlier this month from a knee injury suffered in pre-season. He has made substitute appearances in each of Chelsea's last three matches. With Lampard expected to miss the game with a continuing calf niggle, the 29-year-old might be the 'new signing' his side need to find consistency this season.
The Swans home form is among the best in the league, and with both Dyer and Scott Sinclair up top and wide their efficacy is not solely based on their organised defence. Chelsea have scored only one goal in five of their last six matches as Torres continues his ignominious goal drought. Swansea's confidence in Wales compounded by the visitor's lack of scoring form suggests Andre Villas-Boas’ men may leave the Liberty Stadium with just a point.