The last league meeting between Chelsea and Swansea was a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in the opening weekend of the season, and would define the defending champions’ season for the rest of the year.

Much has changed at Chelsea since the Swans last played against the West London team. Club physio Eva Carneiro was sacked, Mourinho had been let go, Guus Hiddink came in as interim manager and most recently, Antonio Conte has been confirmed as the new Chelsea manager starting next season. After a disastrous first half of the season, Hiddink has come and steadied the  ship with the Blues unbeaten in the Premier League since December.

There was a change in regime at the Liberty Stadium as well, with Gary Monk being sacked much to the dismay of the fans. The board took quite a while to find a replacement, eventually getting Francesco Guidolin to take over at the helm. But by the time he arrived, Swansea had gone from European hopefuls to relegation-threatened. The Italian has since helped the Swans get back on their feet. Swansea are currently 15th on the table, 10 points above the drop zone.

Current League Form

Swansea: The Swans come into this game after a 2-2 draw at Stoke. They’ve won only 3 out of their last 7 games in the league, drawing one and losing 3. It is perhaps their 2-1 victory over Arsenal that stands out. It shows what the side from Wales are capable of and Guidolin will hope to inspire his team to a similar performance against a Chelsea side with nothing to play for other than pride.

Chelsea: Confidence will be high in the Blues camp after a 4-0 drubbing over Aston Villa. Pato, Miazga and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all put in fine performances in a bid to stake their claim for more game time. Chelsea are unbeaten in the league since December and will look to continue this fine run of form as they head to the Liberty Stadium to face an unpredictable Swansea side.

Predicted Lineups

Swansea

Francesco Guidolin will have a full strength squad at their disposal. Only Andre Ayew is recovering from a leg injury and may feature.

Possible starting XI: Fabianski; Fernandez, Rangel, Williams, Taylor; Cork, Ki, Fer, Routledge, Sigurdsson, Paloschi

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Chelsea

Unlike Swansea, the Blues have an injury plagued squad with Terry, Hazard, Matic, Zouma, Remy all set to miss out, and Gary Cahill still doubtful. Costa will miss the match due to suspension. Hiddink will turn to the youngsters to fill in the void. Falcao and Traore will also be in contention after getting back to fitness.

Possible starting XI: Courtois; Baba Rahman, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Miazga; Loftus Cheek, Fabregas, Willian, Mikel, Pedro, Pato

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Key Statistics

  • Chelsea have never lost to Swansea in the Premier League
  • In this same fixture last season, Chelsea beat Swansea 0-5
  • Chelsea have kept 3 clean sheets in their last 3 appearances against the Swans in all competitions.
  • Chelsea have the best away record in the Premier League in 2016.

 

Prediction

Swansea 1 – 2 Chelsea
Swansea pose a much bigger test for Chelsea than Aston Villa. The Swans have a full strength squad to choose from as they look to beat a weakened Chelsea. The Blues, on the other hand, will look to their youngsters to step up. Chelsea confirmed the appointment of Antonio Conte this week and the players will be motivated to put their best foot forward in a bid to impress in their first match since the announcement, knowing the Italian will be keeping a close eye on them.

 

Odds (BetVictor)

  • Swansea to win: 3/1
  • Chelsea to win: 11/10
  • Draw: 12/5

 

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