Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 4/6
Both of these teams failed to impress last season, but while Swansea have continued to struggle, Chelsea appear to be undergoing a real renaissance under Antonio Conte. Therefore, the Swans will have to work hard of they want to prevent the Blues from making it five wins on the bounce.
Swansea City have been on a somewhat of a downtrend of late and there is a good chance the team will be involved in the Premier League relegation tussle. The Swans stayed without Andre Ayew, Ashley Williams and Bafetimbi Gomis, among others this summer, and the trio will be difficult to replace even though some new players have arrived at the Liberty Stadium. The club have high hopes from Borja Baston, while Fernando Llorente, Leroy Fer, Mike van der Hoorn and Alfie Mawson also joined. Swansea did well to beat newcomers Burnley in their opening Premier League fixture, but then went on to suffer back to back defeats to Hull City and Leicester City, so they will be eager to try and arrest the trend when facing high-flying Chelsea. That could be easier said than done considering the impressive form of the opposition, and we can see the hosts struggling to match their more illustrious opponents on Sunday afternoon. It appears that key midfielder Gylfi Sugurdsson will need some more time to rediscover his form after taking part at the Euro 2016 finals, while summer recruit Fernando Llorente is still searching for his first goal in Swansea shirt.
Spanish striker Borja Baston has recovered from injury, but Francesco Guidolin admits he doesn’t know whether the player will be fit to take his place on the bench.
There are no other selection worries for the Italian coach, who could reinstate Ki Sung-Yueng and Jefferson Montero to the starting line-up.
New Chelsea manager Antonio Conte had by no means an easy job after the Blues had largely struggled last season, but he quickly helped the players restore the lost confidence, shrewdly opting against making major changes to the squad. The likes of Hazard, Matic and Costa were able to rediscover their form, while summer recruit N’Golo Kante quickly proved he is rightly considered one of world’s leading holding midfielders. In all fairness, Chelsea did not have such a difficult fixture list in the opening exchanges, but they, nonetheless, did well to record successive wins over West Ham United, Watford and Burnley, while also beating Bristol Rovers in the Capital One Cup. Deadline day signings of David Luiz and Marcos Alonso seem to suggest that Conte is looking to revert to his preferred 3-5-2 formation, but he could also move Cesar Azpilicueta to his natural right-back position and play the former Bolton full-back on the left, in which case Branislav Ivanovic would be dropped. Meanwhile, David Luiz could come in for veteran John Terry, but Conte will probably resist temptation to make too many changes to the side that won all four fixtures this season.
David Luiz and Marcos Alonso may have to settle for a place on the bench, alongside Cesc Fabregas, who cannot seem to break into the side.
Kurt Zouma and Marco van Ginkel remain on the sidelines, but there are no other worries for manager Antonio Conte at the moment.
Key Factors to Consider
- Swansea won the same fixture 1-0 last season
- Chelsea have five wins in last seven meetings with Swans (D1 L1)
- Under 2.5 goals were scored in 8 of their last 11 meetings
- Chelsea won all four fixtures this season
- Swansea scored two goals in first three EPL games
Swansea are struggling for form and with the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente misfiring at the moment, we don’t see how they are going to stop red-hot Chelsea in their tracks. with Manchester rivals facing each other, this is a great opportunity for the Blues to cement the first position in the overall standings.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 4/6