This preview is a bit late; amid all the nonsense of who Antonio Conte will and will not sell — he's not even in the job yet, really, but everybody claims to know things already! — I had sort of forgotten that we have a game in less than 9 hours. But a game we do have, and a 15-match unbeaten streak to protect, too.
The only real trophy left for Chelsea to fight for is the FA Youth Cup, with the U18 side easily dispatching Blackburn in the second leg of the semifinal last night. The senior side, full of injuries and plenty of youngsters, is just there to see out the rest of the season, maybe audition for roles for next season or put themselves into the shop window.
Either way, it could even turn out quite fun like last weekend. You never know!
Date / Time: Saturday, April 9, 2016, 15:00 BST; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales
Referee: Andre Marriner — we last saw Mr. Marriner during out 5-1 win over Manchester City in the FA Cup. He's also refereed our 2-2 draw with Watford and our 3-1 loss to Everton this season. He's refereed this exact same fixture in 2011-12, when Neil Taylor's own goal in the final minute off of a Jose Bosingwa cross salvaged a 1-1 draw for 10-man Chelsea.
Forecast: Cold morning showers, cold afternoon sunshine.
On TV: none (UK); Premier League Extra Time, NBC Universo (USA); Star Sports 2 / HD 2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: NBC Sports Live Extra, NBC Deportes En Vivo Extra (USA); Star Sports (India); Chelsea TV (radio, int'l)
Swansea City team news: Not too long ago, Swansea were in fairly serious relegation danger, but a run of 3 wins, 1 draw — an impressive two-goal comeback against Stoke City — and just 1 loss has seen them rise well above the horrendous threesome at the foot of the table. It's been no doubt a highly disappointing season regardless — one that saw them change managers mid-stream as well.
Late-season confidence, albeit with nothing to fight for, is another similarity between the two teams. The home side is slightly better off in term of injuries, with just Jordi Amat and Leon Britton expected to miss out. Andre Ayew, who had a tremendous game in the season opener against Chelsea's full backs should be available after missing time with an ankle injury.
Chelsea team news: Saddled with several injuries, Guus Hiddink is once again expected to give youth a chance, perhaps handing out even a few more debuts to go with the three (Pato, Miazga, Clarke-Salter) last weekend. Clarke-Salter will not be involved — he captained the U18 side last night — but fellow academy kids Ola Aina, Kasey Palmer, and Charlie Colkett have traveled with the squad.
Diego Costa will serve the final game of his, ultimately, three-match suspension, while Loïc Rémy, John Terry, Eden Hazard, and Nemanja Matić will all miss out due to injury. Gary Cahill is facing a late fitness test, but considering he's only trained one day out of the last two weeks, his involvement is probably not all that likely.
Previously: Chelsea's 5-0 win at the Liberty last year was one of the more memorable highlights of the season.