Swansea City play host to the Blues at the Liberty Stadium in South Wales on Saturday, Carlos Carvalhal led Swansea team are just four points above the relegation zone in 17th place and would be hoping to get something out of the Chelsea game to help their relegation struggles this season.
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea has rediscovered their form of late and has managed to keep their very faint hopes of a top-four finish this season alive. The Blues will desire to claim all three points against Swansea to keep fourth place Tottenham Hotspur on the edge.
The arrival of Carlos Carvalhal at the turn of the new year was the turning point of the club’s season, the Portuguese tactician has been instrumental in guiding the Swans out of the relegation zone and within a hairs breath of retaining their Premier League status.
Although Swansea’s form of late has dipped, as they have gone five Premier League matches without a win but they are still four points clear of the drop zone, this is a clear testament to how Carlos Carvalhal has been able to remarkably transform the fortunes of the club after the departure of Paul Clement.
The coming of Ghanian international Andre Ayew in January has also helped to bolster the Swans attack, they were able to beat both Liverpool and Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium during a remarkable run of impressive results but things have not gone Swansea’s way recently, they have drawn three and lost two of their last five Premier League matches which includes a 5-1 humiliation in the hands of Manchester City in their last outing.
The Blues have found the Liberty Stadium to be a difficult venue, the Blues have lost and managed to pick a draw in their last two visits to South Wales. However, if Chelsea is to keep their faint top-four hopes alive, then Conte and his men must find a way to overcome Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this time around.
Chelsea is five points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur and needs to win all his remaining Premier league matches and hope that Spurs slipped up in recent weeks continues. A win for the Blues will take them within 2 points of Mauricio Pochettino’s men ahead of Spurs game against Watford on Monday night.
The January arrival of French man Olivier Giroud has proven to be pivotal to Chelsea’s recent change in fortune. He made the difference in both the league and FA Cup games against Southampton, he is delivering the goods where Spaniard Alvaro Morata has failed woefully.
Chelsea needs the victory against Swansea and also need to win the other three remaining Premier League matches to put Tottenham Hotspur under intense pressure for the fourth spot, if the Blues are able to overhaul Spurs to clinch a top-four finish, then it will be a remarkable and sweet end to a turbulent season for Antonio Conte and Chelsea.
Swansea defender Federico Fernandez will be hopeful of making a return against Chelsea after he was subbed off with an injury against Manchester City. Sam Clucas and Luciano Narsingh could also feature against Chelsea after they both recovered from injuries.
Tammy Abraham cannot play against his parent club, while Angel Rangel is still battling with fitness issues and may not play, Wilfried Bony, Renato Sanches, and Leroy Fer are long-term injury layoffs.
For Chelsea Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen may partner Cesar Azpilicueta in a three-man defensive set-up while Marcos Alonso will continue to serve his suspension with Brazilian Emerson taking his place.
Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata will give Conte sleepless nights on who to play in the attack alongside Eden Hazard and Willian. David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu remain long-term injury lay-offs.
Swansea City Possible Starting Lineup:
Fabianski; Naughton, Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson; A. Ayew, King, Ki Sung-Yeung, Carroll, Clucas; J. Ayew
Chelsea Possible Starting Lineup:
Courtois; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger; Moses, Kante, Fabregas, Emerson; Hazard, Willian, Giroud
Head To Head
The previous six meetings between both clubs have all been in the Premier League. Chelsea earlier this season defeated Swansea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea has not done well playing at the Liberty Stadium, they have managed to come away with just one point in their last two fixtures in South Wales.
You May Also Read: Wilfred Ndidi Among The 30 Best Players In The Premier League This Season
The teams drew 1-1 at the start of the 2016-17 season and in the 2015/16 season the Swans defeated Chelsea 1-0. That victory is the only one Swansea City have managed against Chelsea in 13 Premier league meetings, having lost eight and drawn four of the other occasions.
Swansea City is fighting for survival in the Premier League, but they are still four points above the drop zone and coming up against a resurgent Chelsea team that is desperate to keep their faint top four hopes alive, it will take something special for Swansea to get any point from this match.
Carvalhal’s men have struggled going forward in recent weeks and conceding five goals against Manchester City will have dealt a big blow on the player’s confidence.
Chelsea looked as if they were out of the top-four race just a few weeks ago, but recent happenings have rekindled their hope and they have to claim all three points against Swansea to maintain the pressure on Spurs, our prediction is a hard-fought 2-0 win for Chelsea.