Chelsea will look to make it three wins in three when they travel to Swansea City this Sunday. Jose Mourinho has been frustrated with his side’s response in the so-called “smaller” games this season and he will be hoping that there is no hangover from their dramatic 2-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night, per The Guardian.
Playing against Arsenal or City, United or Liverpool is one thing and another thing is to play Palace or West Bromwich or Stoke away. Clearly, during the season, we have players up and down in relation to the profile of the match. It's personality qualities. They should be able [to play anywhere], but they are not.
With that in mind, there are likely to be several changes from the side that advanced to the Champions League semi-final.
Cesar Azpilicueta put in yet another stand-out performance against PSG. The fact that he is able to replicate this level of form against the likes of Stoke City speaks volumes to how much he is valued by Mourinho. John Terry looked like he was struggling on Tuesday night and although Chelsea’s very own man of steel played the full 90 minutes, there is a chance he could be rested for this match.
Despite Mourinho’s comments all pointing towards dissatisfaction with David Luiz’s performances in the less glamorous games, he would be the most likely candidate to take over from Terry. Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic will undoubtedly complete the Blues’ defence.
Nemanja Matic should return to the starting XI having been ineligible for the Champions League tie. The Serbian’s strength and ability to pick the perfect pass make him an ideal partner for Frank Lampard in midfield. There can be no argument that Lampard is no longer the player who consistently scored 20 goals or more a season, but his ability to time his runs and vision for space still pose a threat to the opposition.
Eden Hazard suffered a calf strain on Tuesday and Mourinho told reporters that he expects the Belgian to be out for “a couple of weeks”. Willian and Andre Schurrle will roam the wings against Swansea with a rejuvenated Oscar in the No. 10 role.
Demba Ba could be given the opportunity to start this match after his heroic goal on Tuesday. Having seen his chances severely limited since moving to Stamford Bridge last January, Ba deserves the chance to show that he is more than just a super-sub.
Chelsea know that they need to win all of their remaining Premier League fixtures to stand a chance of being crowned champions in May. While the race for the title is out of their hands, three points on Sunday are very much within their reach if this XI get it right.
News via the Official Chelsea website unless otherwise noted.