Monday, 30 January 2012

Swansea vs Chelsea: a small preview

After a wonderful start to the year, with two away wins and that game against Arsenal, the last week has seen Swansea lose to Sunderland (where at least a point was deserved), and dumped out of the FA Cup by Bolton.

So I don't know why I feel so confident that the Swans can take at least a point ahead of tomorrow, when Chelsea make their way to the Liberty Stadium.

We all remember what happened last September in Stamford Bridge – Swansea put in a proud performance, but failed to stop four goals going in, despite being a man up for much of the game. However, Swansea have grown through the season and are so much more confident now.

In a blog previewing Chelsea it's just too easy to mention the ongoing incapability of Fernando Torres... but I'm going to anyway. He's failed to score for a total of over 15 hours of football. There I said it. Interestingly, his last league goal came against Swansea back in September. I think I'd take another goal from him if he is willing to get sent off again. (I think he would take another sending off just to score!)

Despite the suffering Spaniard, lest we forget that Chelsea are fourth in the table and have oodles of talent. Thankfully, a handful of that talent is unavailable: Ramires - who scored two against the Swans last time - is out for a few weeks and John Obi Mikel and John Terry are also both out injured. Elsewhere Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are away for the African Nations Cup, while Frank Lampard is doubtful due to a calf strain.

For the Swans, Alan Tate is back and ready for selection (though I can't see him starting), while the likes of Sinclair and Britton, and (apart from the last 25 minutes) Graham and Dyer were rested on Saturday, so should be fresh. Josh McEachran is ineligible due to terms of his loan.

It's very close in the middle of the table and a win would see Swansea overtake four teams and finish Tuesday in ninth. A loss isn't going to change much tomorrow.

Prediction time: it's not going to be a 4-1 type scoreline again, even if Swansea do lose. With the home fans behind them and the knowledge that they can beat the bigger teams, a draw is not unlikely. I'm going to say... 2-2 (around 13/1 if you're up for a bet).

Let's end the month as we started it!

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