Swansea City - Chelsea Preview: Swans looking to ensure safety

Francesco Guidolin's side do not believe they are safe yet, but a win over the Blues would go a long way in cementing their place in the 2016-17 Premier League.

Swansea City - Chelsea Preview: Swans looking to ensure safety
Swansea welcome Chelsea to the Liberty this weekend. (Photo: VAVEL UK)

Swansea City's players and manager have stressed over the last couple of weeks that, despite being 10 points clear of the drop zone, they are not safe yet.

Gylfi Sigurdsson believes that one more win would do it, and that is what they will be looking for this weekend as they welcome Chelsea to the Liberty Stadium.

The fight continues

The season has seemingly come to an end for both of these sides. Chelsea are making a late push for that Europa League spot, sitting nine points off it at the moment, but that seems to be a pipedream with seven games to go. Meanwhile, Swansea appear to be safe despite what they may say.

However, with the Brendan Rodgers rumours returningFrancesco Guidolin looks to be fighting for a new contract at the Liberty, while Guus Hiddink is putting himself in the shop window as he prepares to make way for new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte this summer.

The players are also fighting for their futures, particularly Chelsea's with a new coach certain to come in, and so performances cannot have that 'end of season' feel to it.

Team news

A handful of the Blues' players will not be able to impress this Saturday though, as they sit in the treatment room.

Kurt Zouma is a long-term absentee with a knee injury, while Loic Remy picked up a groin problem in last week's 4-0 victory over Aston Villa. John Terry, Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard are all fitness doubts too, and Diego Costa is suspended.

The injury woes at the back could pave the way for January signing Matt Miagza to start again for Hiddink's side, partnered by Branislav Ivanovic. Meanwhile, at the other end, with both Costa and Remy unavailable, youngster Bertrand Traore could be handed another opportunity, though Alexandre Pato put forth a strong case last week.

A heavily rotated Chelsea XI could be a big boost for Swansea then, whose injury news is very positive indeed. With no problems to concern Guidolin and his team and André Ayew set to return from a knock to his foot, it's all looking good for the boys in white.

The Ghana international is unlikely to start though with a lack of fitness after a few weeks out, and instead Alberto Paloschi could return to the line-up after his goal last weekend.

Swansea predicted XI (4-1-2-1-2): Fabianski; Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Kingsley; Britton; Cork, Fer, Sigurdsson; Paloschi, Routledge. 

Chelsea predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Courtois; Azpilicueta, Miazga, Ivanovic, Rahman; Fabregas, Mikel; Pedro, Oscar, Willian; Pato.

Paloschi fires in Swansea's equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Stoke City last weekend. (Photo: BPI/Matt Bunn)
Paloschi fires in Swansea's equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Stoke City last weekend. (Photo: BPI/Matt Bunn)

Swans looking to defy history

The head-to-head record is certainly not in Swansea's favour for this game. However, the 2-2 draw they managed in August this season ended a five game winning streak the Blues had over their Welsh opponents.

Goals from Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis shocked the Premier League champions on the opening day as they fought from behind twice to clinch a point, and they will want to cause a similar upset at the Liberty, albeit with a winning end.

If they do manage the three points, it'll be their first win in South Wales over Chelsea and just their second ever - their only previous victory coming back in 2013 at Stamford Bridge as they knocked out the Blues on their way to League Cup glory.