Match Preview: Swansea without Bony, Will Chelsea win this crucial away game?
After a rare week-long break, Chelsea travel to Wales, to take on 9th placed Swansea City on match day 22.
TEAM NEWS, INJURY UPDATES AND SUSPENSIONS
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois’s injured thumb has not yet totally recovered, which means he will not be risked and Petr Cech will be starting. Cesar Azpilicueta, who injured his groin during the match against Newcastle United, will definitely miss the match, with Filipe Luis taking his place. Elsewhere, Diego Costa, who scored a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture in September, will lead the line, with Hazard, Oscar and Willian behind him. Matic and Fabregas will keep their place in central midfield. Cahill will return to the starting line-up in all probability alongside John Terry.
Jonjo Shelvey will miss out, serving the last of his four-match ban due to the red card he saw at Liverpool. Jefferson Montero will miss out with a hamstring injury. Gomis is expected to lead the attack with Routledge, Sigurdsson, and Dyer behind him. Britton and Carroll are to play in central midfield while the back four is expected to comprise Rangel, Fernandez, Williams and Taylor. Fabianski will be in goal.
Chelsea sit at the top of the table, even after a lackluster at home against Newcastle United last weekend. With a two-point lead over second placed Manchester City, and with them as the next opponents in the Premier League, Chelsea will have no place for complacency. Despite being second best for most of the first half against the Magpies, Chelsea went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. The second half saw them perform better, wherein Costa scored his 15th league goal of the season. Chelsea know that they need to improve their away form in the league, having collected only 4 points in their last 4 Premier League games on away turf. While Fabregas said that Chelsea are not complacent” they will need to show that on the pitch. With only two points of breathing space, any slip-up could be a big blow to the players’ confidence.
Garry Monk’s side sit 9th in the Premier League table, having collected just 2 points from their last 3 Premier League matches. The Swans will be without striker Wilfried Bony, whose departure to Manchester City was confirmed 2 days earlier. Swansea, despite their recent poor form, are a tough nut to crack at home. The Swans have seen just one defeat in their last 5 home matches. Knowing a defeat could see them slip into the bottom half of the table, and considering Chelsea’s poor away form of late, Swansea will be encouraged to take the game to Chelsea.
Chelsea have won 5 and drawn 2 of their last 7 Premier League matches against Swansea City. At the Liberty Stadium, Swansea have won 4 matches while Chelsea have won 3 matches, of the total 13 matches between these two sides.
REVERSE FIXTURE THIS SEASON
Chelsea 4-2 Swansea City 12/09/2014
LAST 5 PREMIER LEAGUE MEETINGS
Chelsea 4-2 Swansea City 12/09/2014
Swansea City 0-1 Chelsea 13/04/2014
Chelsea 1-0 Swansea City 26/12/2013
Chelsea 2-0 Swansea City 28/04/2013
Swansea City 1-1 Chelsea 03/11/2012
PREDICTED STARTING LINE-UPS
Swansea City: Fabianski (GK), Rangel, Fernandez, Williams (C), Taylor, Carroll, Britton, Sigurdsson, Dyer, Routledge, Gomis.
Chelsea: Cech (GK), Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (C), Luis, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Costa.
Swansea City 0-1 Chelsea
TIME: 1500 GMT / 2030 IST
VENUE: Liberty Stadium
REFEREE: Jonathan Moss
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt