Chelsea Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Swansea

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There is only an outside chance that the Blues can secure Champions League qualification this term, but they have insisted that they will fight for it

Chelsea are battling with Tottenham and Liverpool for a spot in next season's Champions League, but they rank as big outsiders as they prepare for a trip to face Swansea City on Saturday evening.

Tottenham are five points clear of Chelsea with four games left to play in the Premier League, while Liverpool are eight points clear but have played a game more and have a trip to Stamford Bridge to come.

Meanwhile, Swansea are just outside the relegation zone in 17th place and a defeat will mean that they could offer hope to the likes of Southampton, who sit just four points behind them.

Chelsea injuries

David Luiz remains sidelined for Chelsea due to a knee injury, but he has recently started travelling with the team again in their trips to Burnley and Wembley Stadium.

Danny Drinkwater has a calf strain and Antonio Conte has previously spoken about the midfielder's difficulties in getting fit this season, but he trained this week with the squad. 

Ethan Ampadu remains out for the season with a broken ankle, as Chelsea finally agree a fee of £1.3 million for the youngster, which could rise to £2.5m if the conditions for add-ons are met.

Chelsea have no other fitness concerns ahead of their trip to South Wales. Conte announced at his press conference that, although Luiz wanted to return before the end of the season, there was "no news" regarding the fitness of his players. 

Chelsea suspensions

Chelsea have Marcos Alonso suspended for violent conduct, after the Football Association (FA) took retrospective action for his challenge on Shane Long two weeks ago. He has served two games of his suspension and his absence from the Swansea clash will leave him able to return against Liverpool. 

Chelsea potential starting line-up

Chelsea have looked to Emerson Palmieri rather than Davide Zappacosta to replace the suspended Alonso. The January transfer window signing has excelled in the Spain international's absence and he will likely continue on Saturday.

Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata are locked in a fierce battle for starting spots and both players scored in the recent 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Southampton. Gary Cahill also appears to have regained his first team spot, but this time it is in place of Andreas Christensen.

Conte has experimented with a new formation in the past two games and the 3-5-2 system has proved successful - with the Blues starting with it against Burnley and utilising it in the second half against the Saints at Wembley.

Pedro has also played and coped well in central midfield, as a result of Conte's new plan. However, 3-4-3 seems to still be the Italian's favoured set-up and it is likely that he will stick with it.

Chelsea XI

Swansea team news

Tammy Abraham will be ineligible to play against Chelsea due to the terms of his loan deal with his parent club.

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Swansea City have a number of injuries to contend with, including Renato Sanches, who is out with a hamstring problem. Wilfred Bony and Luciano Narsingh have ankle complaints and Leroy Fer is expected to be out with a problem in his Achilles tendon.

Federico Fernandez and Angel Rangel are hopeful that they will recover from a knock and groin injury respectively.

TV channel & kick-off time

The match takes place at 17:30 GMT on Saturday and it will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport. 

Best Opta match facts

  • Swansea have won one of their 13 Premier League games against Chelsea (D4 L8), a 1-0 victory in April 2016.

  • After a run of three consecutive defeats on the road, Chelsea have now won their last two Premier League away games, last winning three in a row back in September (a run of five).

  • Antonio Conte has won 49 of his 72 Premier League games – victory here will see him become the third quickest manager to reach 50 victories in the competition, after Jose Mourinho (63 games) and Pep Guardiola (69).

  • Olivier Giroud has scored twice and assisted twice in four away Premier League starts at Liberty Stadium.

  • All six of Giroud’s Premier League goals have been as a substitute this season – as it stands a Premier League record for most goals in a single campaign with all of them coming from the bench.