Swansea vs. Chelsea: Capital One Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg Preview, Team News, XIs

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Swansea vs. Chelsea: Capital One Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg Preview, Team News, XIs
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Chelsea travel to Wales on Wednesday with the mission of turning around a two-goal deficit against Swansea, in order to reach the Capital One Cup Final.

In the first leg at Stamford Bridge, Swansea pulled off a shock, with a Michu goal and a late strike by Danny Graham giving Michael Laudrup's team a 2-0 win.

Can Swansea hold on to secure an appearance at Wembley in their first League Cup final, or will Chelsea give Rafa Benitez the chance to secure his debut trophy at Stamford Bridge? Here's our preview and team news. 

 

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Swansea Team News and Predicted XI

The Swans enjoyed a 3-1 home win over Stoke on Saturday without suffering any injuries. Michael Laudrup had a full squad to pick from, other than long-term absentees Neil Taylor, Chico Flores and Kemy Agustien.

Swansea gave a debut to their new loan signing, Belgian midfielder Roland Lamah, who came on for Pablo Hernandez in the second half. 

Michael Laudrup picked Itay Shechter to start up front against Stoke, with Michu playing behind him. I would, however, expect Michu to be reverted to the striker position against Chelsea, allowing Laudrup to pack the midfield.

It's very difficult to predict Swansea's line-up, as Laudrup likes to rotate his whole team, but I think with the opportunity of a trip to Wembley on offer, he will pick the strongest side he can, which should look something like this.

 

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Chelsea Team News and Predicted XI

Rafa Benitez is without the injured David Luiz, Yossi Benayoun and Oriol Romeu, while Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel are both away with the Nigeria squad for the African Cup of Nations.

John Terry has been on the bench for Chelsea for their last three games and came on against Stoke. There was speculation that Terry would start against Arsenal at the weekend and this could be the time for Benitez to take a chance on his fitness.

The other big call for Benitez to make is up front. He left Demba Ba on the bench against Arsenal, choosing instead to start with Fernando Torres. Having had this decision questioned, it will be interesting to see if Benitez decides to keep faith in Torres.

 

Verdict 

A two-goal advantage going into the home leg, would normally make the hosts the hot favourites. When Chelsea are the visitors, however, you know that they have the quality to still win this tie.

I think that Chelsea will win the game, but with their midfield lacking a defensive presence, they'll also concede. I'm going for a 3-2 win for Chelsea, which will be enough for Swansea to book their appearance in the final.

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