Chelsea: Ryan Bertrand & Marco van Ginkel - Out
Swansea City: Alvaro, Nathan Dyer, Michu, Garry Monk & Michel Vorm - Out
Swansea City: None
Swansea City: LWDDL
All credit to Swansea; despite their injury crisis to several first team, they have still stuck to their footballing ethos. The main beneficiary of this has been Jonjo Shelvey. Without Michu and at times Bony, Shelvey has been given the license to link up with the midfield and bomb forward.
However, despite his best endeavors, Shelvey's form across the whole of the season is representative of Swansea. Generally, when Shelvey plays well, Swansea play well; when Shelvey plays badly, Swansea play badly. This correlation exists because Shelvey is the vital cog to Swansea's well oiled machine.
As stated already, Shelvey is all about his passing game; too many times this season he has misplaced his passes, leaving him with a disappointing tally of 84.8% (screenshot one). This is critical as he receives the lion-share of the ball and is generally looked upon to spark attacks. If he cannot make it work, the attack falls through. Therefore it is no surprise Shelvey's poor creation return - 1.3 key passes from an average of 57.1 average passes - is represented by Swansea's poor creation return - 13 shots per game from an average of 60% possession (screenshot three).
Furthermore, Shelvey's passing inaccuracy is exacerbated by the fact he tends to pass in deep positions. This has the knock on effect of adding pressure to a midfield that has no recognised defensive midfielder. Jose Canas and Jonathan De Guzman are the most likely to play at the base of Swansea's midfield and they are woefully inefficient tacklers.
Canas has been unsuccessful in 64% of his tackles, whilst De Guzman has been unsuccessful in 58% of his challenges. Considering Chelsea are strong aerially, diagonal balls from Shelvey are unlikely to be effective. Furthermore, Chelsea have the players to seriously hurt Swansea in any counter attacks.
With Chelsea playing Liverpool in a few days, I would expect a few changes from Chelsea's ordinary line-up. Andre Schurrle is mostly likely to play and he has the required skill-set to really threaten Swansea.
Given Swansea's propensity to stick to their attacking methods, I doubt this game will be the place to look for any shock results.
Chelsea 3-1 Swansea