2017 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL HOTELS, CARDIFF June 3RD & KIEV 2018 - CLICK HERE to BOOK HOTELS PACKAGES Match Preview: Chelsea v/s Swansea City

Match Preview: Chelsea v/s Swansea City

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Briefing : 

Chelsea will be looking to take a sizeable advantage into the second leg at the Liberty Stadium, while the Swans would happily take a draw from the first leg at Stamford Bridge. This promises to be an exciting tie with plenty of attacking talent on show. Chelsea have had mixed fortunes under new manager Rafa Benitez. They have recorded some impressive wins, but there have also been notable disappointments. The World Club Cup loss to Corinthians was a bitter blow and the loss to QPR at home all, but killed their Premier League title hopes. They will be going all out to try and win this competition. Juan Mata will be the key for Chelsea, while new signing Demba Ba will look to further impress the fans after his goal scoring debut in the FA Cup –  Chelsea’s new seven million pound signing has hit the ground running, with two well taken goals in the FA Cup clash against Southampton. He will be looking to continue his great season with a stellar performance in this semi-final first leg. With 50 million pound man Fernando Torres his competition for a starting spot, Ba will have to be at the top of his game at all times to keep the Spanish star on the bench.

Swansea are in a safe Barclays Premier League position, so they will have no hesitation in using their first choice players tonight. Expect a defensive approach from them, particularly in the early stages of the game. Swansea will look to hit Chelsea on the counter and get a good result to take home to the Liberty Stadium for the second leg. Swansea can always rely on the threat of Michu, as well as the likes of Wayne Routledge and Danny Graham, for goals. Their key man Michu has been scoring the goals to take his side into the Capital One Cup final will be a huge incentive for the classy Spaniard. Michu’s goals have seen Swansea climb up the Barclays Premier League table under Michael Laudrup this season. The chance to win a trophy does not come often, so expect Michu to be at his very best.

With John Terry coming closer and closer to a return – here’s what Rafa Benitez had to say :

“John Terry has been training and we are considering playing him on Thursday with the Under-21 team,” the Spaniard said.

“The good thing he is now training so now he can carry on. We will see how he feels on Thursday and hopefully he can play more minutes in the short-term so we will see.

“At least that is a positive thing because before he was just doing the warm-up. Now he is training and can play so I think we are obviously closer.”

Benitez was also asked if he could be involved against Stoke, he added: “It depends on his reaction. Obviously Thursday will be a different kind of game but we will see how he feels.

“If he can feel okay and train the day after, at least we can start considering him as an option.”

The Capital One Cup semi-final with Swansea will come too soon for the Chelsea captain, though.

Terry will be joined on the sidelines by Petr Cech, while Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel are also unavailable for the first leg at Stamford Bridge.

Probable Lineups : 

CHELSEA

Turnbull
Azpilicueta, Cahill, Ivanovic, Bertrand
Lampard, Ramires
Mata, Oscar, Hazard
Ba
SWANSEA

Vorm
Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies
Britton, Ki
Dyer, De Guzman, Routledge
Graham

Key Stats : 

  1. Chelsea have conceded more than one goal in a single game only once in 13 fixtures since Rafa Benitez took over. They did so 11 times in their 21 games under Roberto Di Matteo this season.
  2. Chelsea have conceded more than one goal in a single game only once in 13 fixtures since Rafa Benitez took over. They did so 11 times in their 21 games under Roberto Di Matteo this season.
    The Blues have not scored less than five goals in any of their four domestic cup games so far this season, netting an astonishing 21 in total.
  3. Swansea’s highest ever top-tier finish was sixth place, in 1982. By contrast, their manager, Michael Laudrup (pictured right), has finished in first place seven times, in four different countries.
  4. In the 100 years since they were founded, the Welsh club had never advanced further than the fourth round of the League Cup until this campaign.
  5. Swansea’s form in front of goal in their own Capital One Cup campaign is almost as impressive, having averaged 2.5 goals per game across their three fixtures.

Prediction : 

Chelsea will look at rack up a good amount of goals to have going into The Liberty Stadium when the 2nd leg comes around. Benitez could certainly use the recent goal-scoring form and defensive dominance which has seen Chelsea progress in the FA Cup. With that all into account, I think 3-0 to Chelsea.

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