Chelsea can increase their lead at the top of the Premier League by seeing off the challenge of Swansea City in a potentially tricky game in South Wales.
The home side come into this in the knowledge that top scorer Wilfried Bony’s absence is permanent rather than just a few weeks for the Africa Cup of Nations. The Ivorian left to join Manchester City for £28m, meaning the onus is very much on Bafetimbi Gomis to score the goals.
Signed in the summer from Lyon, Gomis made a positive contribution in the last game and it was his header that led to the equaliser which earned the Swans a draw with West Ham United, but in the long-term, Bony’s boots are big ones to fill.
A goal from Oscar shortly before half time put Chelsea ahead on their way to an eventually comfortable success over Newcastle United, but up until then they were fortunate not to find themselves behind in a display which showed some signs that they were not quite over their defeat to Tottenham on New Year’s Day.
But Man City’s failure to beat Everton allowed Jose Mourinho’s men to open up a two point lead at the summit, but this will be a difficult game in which to take maximum points. The battle between playmakers Cesc Fabregas and Gylfi Sigurdsson promises to be a fascinating one.
Swansea are still without Jonjo Shelvey through injury and Jefferson Montero due to injury, while Ki Sung-Yueng is away at the Asia Cup.
Cesar Azpilicueta is the only injury concern for Chelsea. The Spaniard was forced off against Newcastle and could be replaced in the starting line-up by Filipe Luis.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Swansea