Today, we travel to Wales to face a Swansea side who have had a change in management since last season, Michael Laudrup replacing the outgoing Brendan Rodgers, although the Swans continue to play the lovely football that we saw from them last season.
This fixture ended 1-1 last year, a late Swansea goal pegged us back, and hopefully that won’t be the same outcome this season, and we speak to two guys to see if they think that will be the case. We spoke to Ashwat, on Twitter @ashwat, and Agara.
1) We’re coming off the back of two crazy games against Man Utd, are you expecting the Swansea game to be a bit quieter in terms of goals, especially with Juan Mata’s injury?
Ashwat: I don’t think so because both teams like to attack and both are pretty weak at the back. Swansea have conceded a lot of goals in their last few matches and with Terry & Luiz out, Chelsea themselves are weak defensively. Ivanovic will most likely partner with Cahill today, and with Mata out, we will rely on Hazard & Oscar to create goalscoring opportunities.
Agara: I believe the game against Swansea City is a much different ball game with the controversial one against Man Utd, but im sure Chelsea will come out to win to stay top of the league.
2) Without Mata, it seems it will be Marko Marin or Victor Moses, and up front, either Sturridge or Torres. Which would you play and why?
Ashwat: I would go with the same formation (4-2-3-1) that we have so far this season. Moses looked very impressive against Manchester United in the Capital One Cup and I am sure his confidence must be on a high, so I’ll have him on the right wing, with Hazard on the left & Oscar behind the striker. I personally would like Sturridge to start up front because of his movement & pace but I think Di Matteo will persist with Torres.
Agara: I would prefer Di Matteo to play Oscar in place of Juan Mata, and then play Victor Moses behind Torres, as he looks like he could be very effective there after his performance against Man Utd.
3) Swansea are known for their pacey wingers, do you think Cole and Azpilicueta will be able to deal with them and their tricky footwork?
Ashwat: It will be a good test especially for Azpilicueta and we haven’t seen much of his defensive abilities upto this point so tomorrow will be a good test. From what I’ve read & seen of hi , he looks like someone with good pace and he will have to track back a lot from attack to defense today so it will be interesting. Also, Swansea’s attacking with the likes of Dyer, Hernandez and Michu has looked pretty threatening this season and kudos to Michael Laudrup, who I think has been brilliant so far.
Agara: The pair of Cesar & Cole are strong and quick enough to keep Swansea’s wingers from causing us too much trouble, as Cesar looked very impressive against Man Utd on Wednesday, and with Cole returning to the team after suspension, that will add more depth and experience to the squad.
4) Who is the biggest threat to Swansea, now that Juan Mata has been ruled out, and why?
Ashwat: Eden Hazard. He has looked wonderful so far and he is always on the lookout to see which player is making a run to provide that killer pass that can split through any defense. Without any doubt, Hazard will be our most important player along with Oscar. If Moses plays, I am expecting a lot of quick crosses from his end and hopefully Sturridge or Torres will convert them into goals.
Agara: The biggest threat to Swansea is both Oscar & Hazard now that Mata is out, so we have to look at the other two to cause the damage today.
5) Finally, what is your score prediction, and who will score the goals?
Ashwat: I think we are going to see goals yet again, so I am going with 3-1 to Chelsea. Hazard, Torres and Cahill to score for Chelsea and Michu for Swansea.
Agara: I think there will be a lot of goals today, and I’m going for a crazy scoreline of 6-2 in favour of Chelsea. The scorers for us will be Torres (2), Hazard, Cahill, Ramires, and Oscar.
By Brad Smith