After three grueling away games, which Chelsea actually ended up navigating with considerable aplomb despite nicking “only” a draw at Anfield, the Blues settle in for a busy, but probably a bit easier home-stand of three games in seven days. First up are probably the worst team in the league at the moment, former Chelsea assistant Paul Clement’s Swansea City. (Claude Makélélé, who was assistant until recently, left to take over KAS Eupen in early November after the unfortunately named Jordi Condom chose not to be “promoted to a new position”.)
Of course, nothing’s easy in the Premier League as the tired and true cliche goes, so we must great attention, as always.
Date / Time: Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 19:45 GMT; 2:45pm EST; 1:15am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Neil Swarbrick — Swarbrick’s back at the Bridge after last month’s Carabao Cup tie between Chelsea and Everton (2-1). This will be Swarbrick’s 16th Chelsea match. He refereed this exact same fixture last season, too (3-1). Chelsea have never lost with him in charge (13 wins, 2 draws).
Forecast: With my trip coming up, I’ve been paying special attention to this, but while the weekend and next week looks dry, there’s a decent chance of cold November rain today, with a bit of wind to make things extra pleasant.
On TV: none (UK); none (USA); Star Sports Select
HD2 2 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: NBC Sports Gold (USA); Hotstar (India)
Chelsea team news: David Luiz has picked up a knee injury in the last 24 hours, which may be new or it may be reoccurring, may be real or may be “coincidence” with transfer rumors picking up a quick head of steam yesterday. Either way, he’s not available for this one. Charly Musonda also has a knee problem that has kept him out for a few weeks now, but Michy Batshuayi and Kenedy could be in contention. Joining them in training was Victor Moses, who should be set to make his return to the pitch today.
Chelsea are unbeaten in five straight in the league, with the Liverpool draw bringing a four-match winning streak to a halt. Time to start a new one!
Swansea City team news: Swans will be without Kyle Bartley, who’s out long-term with a knee injury while fellow defender Federico Fernandez is away on bereavement leave. Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham, scorer of over half of Swansea’s league-low 7 goals, is ineligible due to the usual loan rules. Once-excellent Wilfried Bony will be hoping to re-open his account having rejoined from Manchester City over the summer. He’s apparently never scored against us, and that’s been gnawing at him ahead of tonight’s game.
Swansea may not be bottom of the league, but that’s purely thanks to goal difference and a decent defence. With Crystal Palace’s form picking up a bit, Swansea are the least in-form team in the division, having won just one game and drawn two more since the start of September. They did hold Bournemouth to scoreless draw over the weekend, and have conceded just five goals away from home in the league.
Previously: Diego Costa used to score by the bucketloads against Swans. Who’s going to step up today?