Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Swansea v. Chelsea – Preview

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After advancing to the FA Cup Final last Sunday, Chelsea return to action in the Premier League with a trip to Swansea.

While Chelsea are guaranteed a chance at a trophy on 19 May, the Blues still have a shot at qualifying for the Champions League by finishing in the top four. To do so, a win over Swansea is necessary to keep pressure on Tottenham.

On paper, a win should be on the cards for Chelsea. Swansea are on a poor run of form having not won in their last five matches in the Premier League. But the Blues have not had the best of luck this season against teams battling against relegation, and Swansea are just four points clear of the drop zone.

There are positives for Chelsea. Eden Hazard has had a poor second half of the season by his standards, but against Southampton last Sunday, he was back to his best and tormented the Saints defence. Hazard hasn’t always been known for always taking games in the way that a player of his stature should, and his form down the stretch will be vital to Chelsea’s run-in.

Another positive is the form of Olivier Giroud. Although the Frenchman’s signing was less heralded than his teammate Alvaro Morata, Giroud has settled in nicely for Chelsea, and his goal against Southampton on Sunday proved to be the winner. With Morata still struggling for form in the second half of the season, Giroud should be Chelsea’s main striker down the stretch.

For Swansea, things are still in flux. With four games to play, the Swans find themselves just four points above the relegation zone. A win would give them a vital three points, since Southampton and Stoke are both struggling for points themselves.

The big problem for Swansea will be finding the goals to get a win. They’ve scored fewer goals than the three teams in the bottom three, and they’ll need to pick themselves up a little after suffering a 5-0 decimation at the hands of Manchester City.

The good thing for Swansea is they are unbeaten in their last five Premier League matches at the Liberty Stadium, and they’ll be hoping that their home form will give them the impetus to take vital points from this match.

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