By Andah John
Premier League games return this weekend with a League Cup final in-between. As usual, we are in for a potential intrigue and excitement.
There are six games today. But my attention is married to that involving the leaders and one of the strugglers.
Chelsea vs Swansea
This is a game between two sides that are miles apart with regard to form, position in the league and quality. While Chelsea currently, and somewhat comfortably, sit on the roof of the Premier League standings, Swansea are in the world of relegation, still desperately looking for a way out.
The league leaders, who are glued to confidence right now, will seek to extend their drive to the title with a win. And with a mix of guile, steel and strength flourishing in a cohesive setup, it is tough to bet against the Stamford Bridge side.
I expect the usual suspects to start the game. But there is doubt over the availability of goalie Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian shot stopper pulled out of a television interview at the weekend after contracting an illness, according to reports. Aside that, Antonio Conte has complement of his squad to select from on Saturday, as he hopes to halt the resurgence of Paul Clement’s charges.
Swansea may be down there in 15th position, but under Clement, Chelsea should be wary of them. They are now four points clear of the bottom three after winning three of their last four, remember? That’s form. They would certainly want to make life difficult for their hosts. But their previous outings at Stamford Bridge do not inspire confidence.
Against Chelsea, the Swans can only boast of one point at the Bridge. That was the 2-2 draw on the opening day of the 2015-16 season. But they have scored four goals in their last two visits and would hope to make it count again.
Chelsea have won 16 of their last 19 in the Premier League and are favourites to continue their surge towards the Mount Everest of the English top-flight.