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Swansea v Chelsea


Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton conclude their prelude to tonight's cup encounter…

Chelsea aim to take an advantage to south Wales in two weeks' time. We look at how they might make that happen tonight.

Key battles
Demba Ba impressed in the game at Southampton and not just when hitting the net himself - he was in frame when each goal was scored, an indication of the hunger and bravery Chelsea have acquired with him.

The aerial threat of the 6ft 2in striker allows Chelsea to consider crossing the ball more than has been the case this season, and interim boss Rafael Benitez must hope the new striker's instant impact will inspire Fernando Torres to greater heights too.

The Spaniard scored a fine opening goal against Swansea in the 4-1 league win here at the Bridge last season, but was dismissed 10 minutes later for a dangerous tackle.

Michael Laudrup's side tend not to pass the ball out from the back as dogmatically as under predecessor Brendan Rodgers but the rearguard remains the weak link in their team.

Chico is a wily and intelligent defender but he likes to rove forward creating gaps in their centre. Angel Rangel is a combative right-back who could cause problems down Chelsea's left, though he is not the most disciplined - and is the Swans' most cautioned player this season.

Neither side is likely to field their first-choice keeper. Petr Cech remains sidelined and Gerhard Tremmel, 34, has been preferred to Michel Vorm in every round of the Capital One Cup so far.

Fatigue might be an issue in this tie after a gruelling festive period. Arsenal almost turned the FA Cup game at the Liberty Stadium around after a spell when Swansea began defending deeper, lost battles for the second ball and made basic technical errors.

However, Chelsea's recent schedule has been even more testing and Benitez rested one or two players at Southampton.

Laudrup drafted in Dwight Tiendalli, Kyle Bartley, Nathan Dyer, Sung-Yong Ki on Sunday. Star striker Michu (pictured below) began the afternoon on the bench. Their top scorer duly opened the scoring two minutes after coming on, from a Danny Graham lay-off. Graham had all the time in the world to fire Swansea's later equaliser.

The arrival of Michu has facilitated the biggest changes under Laudrup from the previous regime. They can play more directly than before and the Danish manager does not ask his wide men to hug the flanks as rigidly. Their style relies on incisive through-balls to the frontmen and Chelsea's central midfield pair will have to work hard to stifle that supply line.

Ivanovic and Michu

Swansea have won three of their last five away league matches; Chelsea's distinctly mixed recent performances on the Fulham Road include an 8-0 victory and a 0-1 defeat.

QPR achieved the latter through 10-man defending and a wonderful strike by ex-Blue Shaun Wright-Phillips. Equal responsibility for the setback could be laid at the feet of the Chelsea team, who started with a lack of intensity and energy, rallied too late but could not hit the net with any of 23 shots.

Of concern to Benitez will be that his side has conceded first the last three matches. However, he knows that Swansea have yet to encounter the full force of the Blues' attacking threat from midfield this season - David Luiz and in-form Juan Mata both missed our 1-1 draw in November. Both may have a crucial role to play tonight.

Squad fitness news
Petr Cech (thigh) and John Terry (knee), plus long-term absentee Oriol Romeu, are the players unavailable through injury for Chelsea.

There are no reported injury concerns for Swansea.

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Chelsea in the League Cup
Winners: 1964/65, 1997/98, 2004/05, 2006/07
Runners-up: 1971/72, 2007/08
Semi-finalists: 1972/73, 1984/85, 1990/91, 2001/02, 2012/13

By beating Leeds we reached our 11th League Cup semi-final. We have won our last three against Everton in 2007/08, Wycombe Wanderers in 2006/07 and Manchester United in 2004/05.

Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2001/02 - Semi-final
2002/03 - Quarter-final
2003/04 - Quarter-final
2004/05 - Winners
2005/06 - 3rd round
2006/07 - Winners
2007/08 - Runners-up
2008/09 - 4th round
2009/10 - Quarter-final
2010/11 - 3rd round
2011/12 - Quarter-final

Kerry Dixon is our leading scorer in the League Cup with 25 goals followed by Frank Lampard 11, Peter Osgood and Bobby Tambling 10 and Didier Drogba nine.

Chelsea have won five out of the last six matches, scoring 21 goals and conceding four.

Last six results
Dec 19 Leeds (League Cup QF a) W 5-1
Dec 23 Aston Villa (h) W 8-0
Dec 26 Norwich (a) W 1-0
Dec 30 Everton (a) W 2-1
Jan 2 QPR (h) L 0-1
Jan 5 Southampton (FA Cup 3rd round a) W 5-1


2012/13 scorers
Torres 14 (1 pen), Mata 13, Lampard 3 (3 pens), Cahill 6, E Hazard 6 (2 pens), Ivanovic 6, Oscar 6 (1 pen), Moses 5, Ramires 5, D Luiz 4 (2 pens), Ba 2, Bertrand 2, Sturridge 2, Cole 1, Romeu 1 (pen), Terry 1, own goals 1. Total 82.

Chelsea's next three games
Sat 12 Jan Stoke away 3pm
Wed 16 Jan Southampton home 7.45pm
Sun 20 Jan Arsenal home 1.30pm

At Southampton, Frank Lampard equalled our second highest top scorer in all competitions, Kerry Dixon, with 193 goals. He is now nine behind Bobby Tambling.

If selected, Fernando Torres will make his 100th appearance for Chelsea

Swans in the League Cup
Semi-finalists: 2012/13
Fourth round: 1964/65, 1976/77, 2008/09, 2010/11


This season's Capital One Cup campaign
Aug 28 (2) Barnsley (h) W 3-1
Sep 25 (3) Crawley (a) W 3-2
Oct 31 (4) Liverpool (a) W 3-1
Dec 12 (QF) Middlesbrough (h) W 1-0


Capital One Cup scorers
Graham 2, Moore 2, Chico 1, De Guzman 1, Dyer 1, Michu 1, Monk 1, own goals 1. Total 10.

Until this season Swansea had never progressed beyond the fourth round of the League Cup.

This will be Swansea's fourth successive away trip to London. Since the start of December they have won at Arsenal and Fulham and lost to Tottenham.

They have only lost one of their last six away games winning four of them.

Last 10 seasons in the League Cup
2002/03 - 1st round
2003/04 - 1st round
2004/05 - 1st round
2005/06 - 1st round
2006/07 - 1st round
2007/08 - 2nd round
2008/09 - 4th round
2009/10 - 2nd round
2010/11 - 4th round
2011/12 - 2nd round

Manager Michael Laudrup
Days in charge: 206
Played 26
Won 11
Drawn 9
Lost 6





Last six results
Dec 16 Tottenham (a) L 0-1
Dec 23 Manchester United (h) D 1-1
Dec 26 Reading (a) D 0-0
Dec 29 Fulham (a) W 2-1
Jan 1 Aston Villa (h) D 2-2
Jan 6 Arsenal (FA Cup 3rd round h) D 2-2


2012/13 scorers
Michu 15, Graham 6, Routledge 5, De Guzman 4, Dyer 4, Hernandez 2, Moore 2, Chico 1, Monk 1, Rangel 1, Sinclair 1, own goals 1. Total 43

Completed January transfers
Ins Demba Ba (Newcastle, undisclosed)
Outs Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool, undisclosed)
Ins None
Outs None

Anthony Taylor is making his third visit to the Bridge this season. He was the referee for our 4-1 win against Norwich in October and our goalless draw with Fulham in November.

There are no suspensions.

Victor Moses and John Mikel Obi are now with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

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