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Blues go west as Premier League title charge continues


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Chelsea can go 5 points clear of Manchester City on Saturday afternoon with a victory away at Garry Monk’s Swansea side. Kick off is at 15:00 GMT.

Following Jose Mourinho’s return to media duties and what seems to be becoming his customary criticism of the Football Association, Chelsea cross the border knowing that a victory is paramount if they are to at least maintain their 2 point cushion at the summit of English football. It goes without saying that Mourinho will be hoping for a helping hand from his good friend Arsene Wenger, who takes his side to the Etihad on Sunday.

While Wales’ south coast hasn’t traditionally been the happiest of hunting grounds for the Blues in recent years. A Demba Ba strike meant we left with all 3 points in the corresponding fixture 9 months ago. The Senegalese’s long range effort on a sunny Sunday afternoon kept us in contention for the league title and handed us our first win at Swansea in the Premier League era. Our previous meetings at the Liberty Stadium have all ended in draws.

The Opposition

Since taking the reins on a full-time basis this summer, Garry Monk has built on the solid foundations laid by predecessors Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup. Swansea currently lie in 9th position and are 9 points better off than at this stage last season. Monk’s Swans have become a particularly arduous task for sides visiting their Liberty Stadium home, where they have been defeated only twice this term. The passing philosophy originally pioneered by Roberto Martinez has remained, although Wilfried Bony has not, having completed his £25m switch to Manchester City this week.

Neil Taylor and Angel Rangel are encouraged to push forward from full-back positions and aid Jonjo Shelvey and Gylfi Sigurdsson to maintain possession at all costs. Sigurdsson particularly is encouraged to get forward and aid Bafetimbi Gomis, while Leon Britton sits deeper in midfield and ensures his side continue to tick over. Chelsea will need to buck their recent trend of slow starts if they are to stop Swansea breaking into their passing rhythm and effective pressing from the Blues’ attacking players will also be vitally important.

Team News

Chelsea: Cesar Azpilicueta will sit out the game after sustaining an injury against Newcastle last week. Thibaut Courtois has a finger injury and is expected to keep his position on the bench.

Expected line up (4-2-3-1): Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis; Matic, Fabregas; Hazard, Oscar, Willian; Diego Costa

Swansea: Garry Monk has some problems in midfield. Jonjo Shelvey is suspended and Ki is on international duty. Jefferson Montero is injured.

Expected line up (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Britton, Carroll; Routledge, Sigurdsson, Dyer; Gomis


Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 9 league games against Swansea

John Terry could become Chelsea’s 3rd highest appearance-maker of all time if he plays

Swansea have scored in all of their last 11 league games

Chelsea have conceded 8 goals in their last 4 away games

Diego Costa has not scored more than once in a game since netting a hat-trick in Chelsea’s 4-2 win over Swansea in September


Courtesy of SkyBet

Swansea win: 9/2

Draw: 14/5

Chelsea win: 4/7

TV Coverage:

UK: Match of the Day, BBC1 22:25

USA: NBC Sports Live Extra

Middle East: beIn Sports Arabia 1, beIn Sports Connect Arabia

Belgium: Be Sport 1, Sporting 1

Others check here:


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