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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: SWANSEA CITY V CHELSEA

It is the day of the game and joining club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton to complete their look at the match in South Wales is former player Clive Walker…


TACTICAL BRIEF
Chelsea look to return to winning ways in the league on Saturday. Former Chelsea winger Clive Walker provides an insight as to how it might be achieved.

Key battles
'It would be unfair to say Brendan Rodgers's former players beat his new players at Liverpool in midweek, but there is some truth that he instilled the passing mentality at Swansea. Two of their best players, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Joe Allen, moved on in the summer, though, and so have Swansea.

'In Rodgers' 4-3-3 the wingers stayed wide quite rigidly. Under the new coach Michael Laudrup they have licence to come into the middle more. What it means is that they are closer to the midfielders and striker.

'Sometimes in their first Premier League season they seemed keener to retain possession than take risks. The current manager has a bit more adventure about him and has put the emphasis on attacking, and they are much more direct this season.

'You always have a trade-off - as Robbie Di Matteo is finding too. So maybe Swansea are a little more vulnerable at the back when they lose the ball than they were before.

'In Oscar, Eden Hazard and Ramires, we have just the type of players to win possession high up the pitch and do damage. This will be a crucial area of the game.

'Victor Moses took his opportunity to shine in midweek. He ran the young defenders ragged, showed strength and endeavour and created goals and chances. He offers something a little bit different to the others who play behind the striker and is a good "out" ball to the flank.

'I thought Danny Sturridge did okay leading the line against Man United and took his goal very well but he sometimes makes the wrong choice. Fernando Torres is available again and he will have a point to prove. I imagine he will come back in, but Sturridge is there if required.

Sturridge


'It's probably good news for the Blues that Swansea's first choice keeper Michel Vorm is out injured. He has been in terrific form for them, but Gerhard Tremmel has come in, played in the Liverpool win and made a few decent saves.

'He's 33 and has Bundesliga experience but this will be only his third Premier League appearance, and he won't have faced many sides with as much attacking threat from all angles as this Chelsea side. There were 25 shots against Manchester United. I'm sure Tremmel's eyes would have popped if he saw that stat.

'Swansea are a counter-attacking side and Michu and Pablo Hernández give them pace and a cutting edge on the break. Michu has been the surprise package so far this season. So far most of his goals have come against lower half sides at home though.

'Mind you, Chelsea's defending has left something to be desired in recent weeks. This is the last of the four games John Terry is banned. You only need look at the statistics to know how much the defence has missed him: nine goals let in over three matches.

'Cesar Azpilicueta had a mixed night against United. He did good things and some of his cover play, with pace to burn, was impressive. But he did give away a penalty and is still adjusting to the pace of the game here.

'I think he will make way for Branislav Ivanovic for the moment, unless David Luiz is unfit and Brana plays in the centre. He, David Luiz and Gary Cahill have weighed in a few goals so far. It's always handy to have that in your armoury, but first and foremost their task is to stop the opposition scoring.

'I'm sure Laudrup will be telling his men to make the most of home advantage and to be very quick out of the blocks. The last few weeks we have tended not to be quite at the races in the opening moments, so there's a vulnerability we have to avoid today.

'If we start with the right intensity I can only see one winner.'

Squad news
The Blues wait for fitness decisions on Juan Mata (hamstring) and David Luiz (ankle) but Ashley Cole's swelling on his ankle has receded and he is back in a squad bolstered by Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic returning from bans. John Terry is still suspended, Frank Lampard (calf) still injured.

For Swansea, defender Chico Flores is likely to play despite a dead leg in their match at Liverpool. Goalkeeper Michel Vorm (groin) plus defenders Neil Taylor (broken ankle) and Kyle Bartley (thigh) are ruled out.

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PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: SWANSEA CITY V CHELSEA

CHELSEA STATS
The Blues are hoping for a third straight away win in the Premier League.

Chelsea have only conceded three goals in four away Barclays Premier League games this term. Only Arsenal can match that.

The Blues are nine points better off after nine games compared to the corresponding games last season.

All six occasions this term in the Premier League we have opened the scoring we have gone on to win the game.

Last six results
Oct 2 FC Nordsjaelland (Champions League a) W 4-0
Oct 6 Norwich (h) W 4-1
Oct 20 Tottenham (a) W 4-2
Oct 23 Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League a) L 1-2
Oct 28 Manchester United (h) L 2-3
Oct 31 Manchester United (League Cup h) W 5-4 aet

 

Premier League scorers
Mata 4, Torres 4, Ivanovic 3, Lampard 3 (2 pens), Cahill 2, Hazard 2 (1 pen), Cole 1, Ramires 1, Sturridge 1. Total 21.


League games since
An away win: 0
An away draw: 2
An away defeat: 4


Chelsea's next three games
Wed 7 Nov Shakhtar Donetsk (CL) home 7.45pm
Sun 11 Nov Liverpool home 4pm
Sat 17 Nov West Brom away 3pm

 

MILESTONES
Frank Lampard is now equal with Bobby Tambling as our top league scorer in top-flight matches with 129 goals.


SWANS STATS
Formed
1912

Major trophies
2 Football League Trophies, last in 2006
10 Welsh Cups, last in 1991


This is Swansea's fourth season in the top flight.

In March 1978, a 28-year-old John Toshack became the youngest manager in the Football League and took the Swans from the Fourth Division to the First in four seasons. They achieved their highest ever finish, sixth, in 1981/82 but were relegated the following season and in another four years were back in the Division Four.

Swansea achieved a similar rise in fortunes after promotion from League Two (fourth flight) in 2004/05 and arriving in the Premier League via the Championship play-offs in May 2011.

The Swans only defeat at the Liberty Stadium in six league and cup games was 0-3 against Everton in September.

Swansea have won the three league games this term when they have opened the scoring whereas when their opposition scored first they drew two and lost four.

They are looking to keep a clean sheet for the first time since 25 August against West Ham.


Manager Michael Laudrup
Days in charge: 139
Played 12
Won 6
Drawn 2
Lost 4

Swansea's last 10 year league history

Pts Pos Division Level
2002/03 49 21st League Division Three 4
2003/04 59 10th League Division Three 4
2004/05 80 3rd League Two 4
2005/06 71 6th League One 3
2006/07 72 7th League One 3
2007/08 92 1st League One 3
2008/09 68 8th Championship 2
2009/10 69 7th Championship 2
2010/11 80 3rd Championship 2
2011/12 47 11th Premier League 1

 

PMB

 

Last six results
Sep 25 Crawley (League Cup a) W 3-2
Sep 29 Stoke (a) L 0-2
Oct 6 Reading (h) D 2-2
Oct 20 Wigan (h) W 2-1
Oct 27 Manchester City (a) L 0-1
Oct 31 Liverpool (League Cup a) W 3-1


2012/13 Premier League scorers
Michu 6, Dyer 2, Routledge 2, Graham 1, Hernández 1, Rangel 1, Sinclair 1. Total 14.


League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 1
A home defeat: 2


SWANSEA MAJOR SUMMER MOVES
Ins
Pablo Hernández (Valencia, £5.5m), Ki Sung-Yueng (Celtic, £5m), Michu (Rayo Vallecano, £2m), Chico Flores (Genoa, £2m), Jonathan De Guzman (Villarreal, loan), Itay Shechter (Kaiserslautern, loan), Kyle Bartley (Arsenal, £1m), Dwight Tiendalli (unattached), Jamie Proctor (Preston, undisclosed)
Outs Joe Allen (Liverpool, £15m), Scott Sinclair (Manchester City, £6.2m), Stephen Dobbie (Brighton, undisclosed)


THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Kevin Friend will referee his second Chelsea match this term. He was the official for the Community Shield game at Villa Park in August when he booked eight and sent off Branislav Ivanovic after 41 minutes.

Friend is the only current official to have refereed more Chelsea defeats than victories (three in six games).


OTHERWISE ENGAGED
John Terry is suspended (fourth of four domestic games). David Luiz and Ramires are one booking away from a one-match domestic suspension for five yellow cards.

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