Swansea look to keep their near-perfect home record when they welcome the visit of Chelsea to the Liberty Stadium. Brendan Rodgers’ side have only lost once at home this season and will be confident they can beat the Blues, where Rodgers was reserve team manager.
The Swans lost to Manchester United, but have beaten Arsenal and got draws with Tottenham, Sunderland and Aston Villa in South Wales. On-loan midfielder Josh McEachran is ineligible to face Chelsea under the terms of his deal, but Alan Tate may make a first appearance since breaking his leg in a golf buddy accident in August. Rodgers rotated the side making 10 changes against Bolton in the FA Cup loss this weekend and is expected to recall the majority of his starters against the Blues. In Swansea’s last league game, they were undone by two moments of class from Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and that highlighted their worries again in their away form. Rodgers has not made many January moves and is working on a deal to bring Wrexham defender Curtis Obeng to the Liberty Stadium.
Chelsea will be without captain John Terry after aggravating a knee injury and the club have been quick to comment that his exclusion is not to do with Wednesday’s court case. The 31 year old will not attend Westminster Magistrates Court and his team are expected to plead not guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence against QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. Terry played faultlessly in Saturday’s 1-0 win over the R’s at Loftus Road in the FA Cup, but will not feature in South Wales. Midfielder Frank Lampard is out with a calf worry and adds to the midfield problems Villas-Boas faces with John Obi Mikel’s hamstring worry and Ramires suffering from medial ligament damage. Andre Villas-Boas’ side drew 0-0 at Carrow Road last time out in the league and the Blues boss will be hopeful Fernando Torres can get his goalscoring boots on. The last time the Spaniard scored in the Premier League was against Swansea in the game at Stamford Bridge, but he was also sent off.
Chelsea will look to keep pace with the top three by winning at a tricky Liberty Stadium, but without Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard, their goal threat diminishes. Daniel Sturridge is the club’s top goalscorer this season, along with Lampard, but has not scored since before Christmas in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham. Swansea will have possession and if Scott Sinclair and Nathan Dyer can break through a Blues defence without John Terry, they should have unlimited success.
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