Swansea City vs Chelsea Preview: Swans hoping to get back on track
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Swansea City vs Chelsea Preview: Swans hoping to get back on track

Swans aiming to repeat last season's win, as Chelsea are the visitors to the Liberty Stadium.

Martin Jones

Chelsea are the visitors to the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, kick-off 4pm, to face a Swansea City side low on confidence after two successive Premier League defeats.

The Swans will hope to repeat their win against Chelsea last season, when a Gylfi Sigurdsson volley comfortably won the game 1-0 for the Swans. Make no mistake, this will be a much changed Chelsea side from the one that lost at the Liberty late in the 2015-16 campaign.

The Stamford Bridge side have strengthened their defence with the return to the club of former club favourite David Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain and Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina.

Guidolin to face fellow Italian Antonio Conte

For the second game running, Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin will face an Italian opponent in the opposition dugout. Guidolin has faced the Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte many times in the past in Italian football, when Conte was either a player or manager in opposition.

Guidolin said, "Conte played with Juventus for 13 years and I managed Vicenza, Udinese and Bologna against him."

He added, "Every year I met him and he almost always won because Juventus had the best squad in Italy, and Serie A was the most important league in that period."

The Swans boss spoke fondly of Conte, "Then he was manager of Bari when I was manager of Parma in the second division and we both got promoted to Serie A together."

Doubts over Borja

Despite saying in his press conference earlier in the week that Borja Baston is ready to face Chelsea on Sunday, Guidolin is now unsure if the Swans record signing will be available.

He said: "He is working, but he has to go slow (in training) for two or three days. He does not have an injury." The Italian "hope[s] to have him available for the bench on Sunday" but is not 100% sure.

Guidolin explained, "I am not sure at the moment. He worked with us last week but he needs some days where he works slowly. He is almost ready to play."

The Swans have no other injury worries and are expected to field the same team that lost at Leicester last time out. Swansea's new signing from Barnsley, defender Alfie Mawson, is also likely to make the bench alongside Neil Taylor, after he was involved in Wales 4-0 win against Moldova last Monday night.

Will David Luiz make his debut?

As for Chelsea, it is likely that new signing David Luiz will make his second Chelsea debut for the West London club, after dramatically returning on transfer deadline day to the club he played for from 2011 to 2014. Who will partner him in the centre of their defence is a question on the lips of most of the club's fans.

Will it be John Terry or Gary Cahill? So far this season the Blues have played three games and have won all three, and they will be aiming to maintain their 100% record. Chelsea's only injury worry at the moment is defender Kurt Zouma, who is definitely out of Sunday's match.

Midfielder, Eden Hazard is certainly a player that has come back to form under Conte and the Swans will have to be at their best on Sunday to get anything out of the game.

Predicted line-ups

Swansea City: (4-2-3-1) Fabianski, Naughton, Amat, Fernandez, Kingsley; Cork, Fer; Barrow, Sigurdsson, Routledge; Llorente.

Chelsea: (4-1-4-1) Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, David Luiz, Alonso; Kante; Willian, Matic, Oscar, Hazard; Diego Costa.