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Chelsea v Swansea


Back to the league and it is crucial Chelsea secure all three points against a Swansea side problematic of late. Former Blue Clive Walker weighs up ways the Blues might sink the Swans.

Key battles
'I played in a 3-0 win against John Toshack's team in 1979 but mostly I remember playing at the Vetch, with its funny peculiar stand, two thirds across one end and very close to the pitch, all a little daunting!

'The current team have lost form a little since their League Cup triumph, which made history for them.

'That happens quite a lot - we've seen it down the years. When I was with Sunderland we lost the Milk Cup final and were relegated. What no one expected was that cup winners, Norwich, would go down with us. But after they'd won it they fell apart and slipped from mid-table to the relegation zone. Other sides have struggled since then. Players switch off.

'If you're playing against a team with that propensity you want to start fast and intense - much like we did in Basel on Thursday. If we could hit Swansea hard in the first 15 minutes it might be tough for them to gain a foothold.

'Chelsea will be looking for an old-fashioned in-your-face performance. Victor Moses in the first half in Switzerland was in that kind of mood, wanting to take the game to them.

'Rafael Benitez rang the changes in midweek with David Luiz in centre midfield and Ramires further forward. They may well revert to their more usual positions.

'Chelsea have to be alert to the slipped-in passes. Michu has already shown what a danger he can be against us, finding space and getting a shot in. John Terry is approaching full fitness and was excellent on Thursday, as was Branislav Ivanovic. Brana will need no reminding what happened in the League Cup game here - two very uncharacteristic errors for him cost us dear.

'Ryan Bertrand has done nothing wrong but you have to welcome Ashley Cole and his experience back. He did a great job against Basel's tricky player Muhamed Salah but he is suspended from the second leg next week.

'It was the perfect scenario in Switzerland when we went a goal up. He could sit back and stay on Salah. Gary Cahill is fit again but may have to wait a little longer for a return.

'Demba Ba looks likely to be back on Sunday afternoon and Benitez's selection in the Europa League appeared to have one eye on this match. Juan Mata and Oscar started on the bench and he brought Hazard off early. That shows how many options he has available at the moment.

'We have won our last five league games at the Bridge and it is absolutely essential we earn three points again from this game. Swansea are a well-organised mid-table team. They're a good passing side, creative, lots of running from deep, and they take their chances.

'Leon Britton and Nathan Dyer can be very effective. The goalkeeper Michel Vorm has also been outstanding. A lot of credit for their style of football must go to him. His distribution for a goalkeeper is terrific and he regularly sets up moves.

Swansea v Chelsea

'Chelsea are looking at the Spurs fixture looming and we have to keep our noses in front of them before that.Arsenal have the easier run-in on paper and we have a game in hand on them. It's important to maintain momentum at the crucial end of the season.

'Beat Swansea, see off Basel and we will be full steam ahead.'

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Chelsea are hoping for a sixth successive Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have opened the scoring in 22 Premier League matches which is a higher percentage than any other club. We have gone on to win 16 games and draw five. Only West Ham have defeated us.

Chelsea are eight points better off compared to the corresponding 33 fixtures last season.

We have gained 12 points from losing positions this term. We have dropped 16 points from winning positions

Fabian Schär's penalty at Basel on Thursday was the 13th time in all competitions this season we have conceded in the last five minutes (plus stoppage time).

In the Premier League we have now dropped eight points from the 85th minute onwards, each time away from home: Swansea, West Ham, Reading, Newcastle and Liverpool.

Last six results
Apr 7 Sunderland (h) W 2-1
Apr 11 Rubin Kazan (Europa League a) L 2-3
Apr 14 Manchester City (FA Cup Wembley) L 1-2
Apr 17 Fulham (a) W 3-0
Apr 21 Liverpool (a) D 2-2
Apr 25 Basel (Europa League a) W 2-1


Premier League scorers
Lampard 12 (4 pens), Mata 10, E Hazard 9 (2 pens), Torres 7 (1 pen), Ivanovic 5, Ramires 4, Terry 4, Ba 2, Cahill 2, D Luiz 2, Oscar 2 (pen), Cole 1, Marin 1, Moses 1, Sturridge 1, own goals 3. Total 66

League games since
A home win: 0
A home draw: 5
A home defeat: 6


Chelsea's next three games
Thu 2 May Basel (Europa League SF) home 8.05pm
Sun 5 May Manchester United away 4pm
Wed 8 May Tottenham home 7.45pm


Frank Lampard needs two goals to equal our all-time top scorer Bobby Tambling on 202.

If selected, Frank will play his 50th game of the season for club and country.

Congratulations to Juan Mata who celebrates his 25th birthday today (Sunday).


Major trophies
1 League Cup in 2013
2 Football League Trophies, last in 2006
10 Welsh Cups, last in 1991

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.

Swansea have picked up five points from six games since winning the League Cup in February. They have won three points (three draws) from a possible 18 away in the Premier League in 2013.

The Swans have failed to win any of the 15 league games their opposition scored first. They have managed five draws and 10 defeats.

They have only dropped four points from winning positions. Only Arsenal and Man United can better that.

Swansea have won 17 points from a possible 48 on the road this term. They have won at QPR, Newcastle, Arsenal and Fulham, drawn at Southampton, Reading, Everton, Sunderland and Norwich and lost at Aston Villa, Stoke, Manchester City, Tottenham, West Ham, Liverpool and West Brom.

Manager Michael Laudrup
Days in charge: 315
Played 42
Won 16
Drawn 14
Lost 12

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




Last six results
Mar 2 Newcastle (h) W 1-0
Mar 9 West Brom (a) L 1-2
Mar 16 Arsenal (h) L 0-2
Mar 30 Tottenham (h) L 1-2
Apr 6 Norwich (a) D 2-2
Apr 20 Southampton (h) D 0-0

2012/13 Premier League scorers
Michu 17, De Guzman 5, Routledge 5, Dyer 3, Graham 3, Hernández 3, Moore 3, Rangel 2, Davies 1, Sinclair 1. Total 43.

League games since
An away win: 6
An away draw: 0
An away defeat: 1

Swansea's completed January transfers
Ins Roland Lamah (Osasuna, loan)
Outs Danny Graham (Sunderland, £5m), Leroy Lita (Sheffield Wednesday, loan), Mark Gower (Charlton, loan), Ashley Richards (Crystal Palace, loan)

Mark Clattenburg is the official for his second Chelsea match of the season.

There are no suspensions.

The deadline for players receiving a suspension for accruing ten cautions has now passed.

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