It’s back! The Premier League is back! And the Champions play their opening match against Swansea City at the Bridge! After a mixed pre-season, Chelsea faces the uphill task of defending their Premier League crown, and it starts with the Swans.
TEAM NEWS, INJURY UPDATES, AND SUSPENSIONS
Diego Costa is doubtful with a hamstring injury, and it is unlikely that he could play a part in the match. The rest of the squad is fit and available for selection.
Jordi Amat was out after April due to an ankle injury, and although he may be fit enough for selection, it is unlikely he will feature in the starting line-up.
After beating PSG and Barcelona on penalties, Chelsea lost against Arsenal in the FA Community Shield and then Fiorentina this week. However, as things get serious now, it is unlikely that Jose Mourinho will tolerate any complacency. Chelsea will perhaps be without Costa, and so it will be on Falcao and Remy to shoulder the responsibility of goals, and on Hazard to make things happen.
Gary Monk’s team have already warned Chelsea that they won’t be defensive at Stamford Bridge. Nathan Dyer claimed last week that he and his teammates were “ready for Chelsea test.” With fast wingers like Dyer in their side, and with creative midfielder Ku Sung Yeung and Sigurdsson in the middle, Swansea will pose a threat to Chelsea.
KEY PLAYER BATTLES
Falcao vs. Ashley Williams
Falcao may start against Swansea given Costa’s injury, and though he has been looking rusty in pre-season, Falcao knows that another bad season in the Premier League will harm his reputation, and thus he will be looking to exploit the Swansea defence at all times. So, Ashley Williams may have a hard time with Falcao’s movement.
Matic vs. Sigurdsson
Sigurdsson is a very effective and skillful player, and can make things happen around him. Matic, who was brilliant last season, has to be alert to stop Sigurdsson making runs.
Chelsea have won 12 of their last 13 opening matches in the Premier League. This is just the second time Swansea will face a non-Manchester club in six yards on opening day.
LAST 5 MEETINGS
Swansea 0-5 Chelsea 17/01/2015
Chelsea 4-2 Swansea 13/09/2014
Swansea 0-1 Chelsea 13/04/2014
Chelsea 1-0 Swansea 26/12/2013
Chelsea 2-0 Swansea 28/04/2013
PREDICTED STARTING LINE UPS
Chelsea: Courtois (GK), Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Hazard, Oscar, Willian, Falcao
Swansea: Fabianski (GK), Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Tabanou, Cork, Yeung, Dyer, Sigurdsson, Ayew, Gomis
Chelsea 2-0 Swansea
Time: 1730 GMT / 2200 IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Referee: Michael Oliver
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Edited By: Karan Dubey
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