After both teams competed, and won mid-week, in the Capital One Cup, the weekends clash between Swansea and Chelsea will be an interesting encounter. Both squads will be feeling the strain from hard fought matches against top Premier League opposition.
Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic are both available for selection for Chelsea and will come some way to returning the squad to its full potential. Ashley Cole is also back to full fitness, however there is doubt over David Luiz (ankle) and Terry is still banned. After an epic 120 minutes against Manchester United, Mata will surely need a rest and may not start the game. Hazard and Oscar and the (usually) reliable Mikel will also likely to be feeling some fatigue after putting in a real shift against the Red Devils.
Swansea face similar issues however, with some of their most dangerous players, such as Michu, Dyer and DeGuzman potentially feeling the the effects of a mid-week encounter.
Swansea’s slick passing and movement was too much for Liverpool, who are still adjusting to Brendan Rogers’ style of play. The Swans look as if they are returning to the form that made them so successful last season after an early blip and will certainly test Chelsea on Saturday.
Chelsea need to regain their defensive stability but with John Terry serving the final game of his suspension, his leadership and organisation will again be missed against the free flowing Swans. If the more dangerous options in Chelsea squad are up for a game on Saturday, which as professional athletes, they should be, the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Torres could cause some real problems as they have done all season.
It will likely be an open encounter at the Liberty Stadium, so expect goals, expect horrendous officiating decisions and expect mass controversy. The prediction: Swansea 2 – 3 Chelsea.
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