Letou Decide: Swansea City vs. Chelsea Preview


Tonight Swansea City host Antonio Conte’s Chelsea and the initial signs as I look at a preview are not good.

I don’t like teams that have lost their last game, unless they’re on some sort of long bad run (as Manchester City were). An emotive sort like Conte will demand a response and that’s never a good sign, especially as I’m planning to play our reserve side.

Chelsea lost to Southampton last time out and it wasn’t really even close with Saints winning 2 – 0 thanks to goals by Wesley Hoedt and Manolo Gabbiadini. Southampton even had more shots to Chelsea, which is just unheard of.

Conte has used what is described as a 5-2-3, although in practicality it’s a 3-4-3. See what you think, this is their positioning map against Southampton.

I’m encouraged by where Southampton focused their attacks, their most prominent red heated area is in the centre of the Chelsea defence, which is where our strikers normally do their best work.

Chelsea do have some player concerns, César Azpilicueta and Willian will be too injured to take part and Eden Hazard hasn’t resumed full training following a sprained ankle so if he does play, you can guarantee we’ll be looking to tackle him hard.

And now to the elephant in the room. We are set to play our reserve side to keep the first team fresh for Everton at the weekend in the FA Cup. This isn’t so much a problem in midfield, where we have Luciano Narsingh, Leroy Fer, Sam Clucas,Andy King and Roque Mesa to come in. It’s also not much of a concern at the back, with Erwin Mulder or Kristoffer Nordfeldt ready to replace Fabianski. At full-back both Cian Harries and Mael Davies have first team experience, in the centre of defence both Alfie Mawson and Mike van der Hoorn going up against each other for one place in the Everton team after Mawson’s poor performance against Spurs.

Whoever gets the highest rating from the papers will get the FA Cup spot alongside Federico Fernández. As far as strikers are concerned for the Chelsea match, that’s where we have issues. Tammy Abraham remains unavailable through injury, meaning Bony and Jordan Ayew will have to start in the cup, hence the trip last week to see the Under 23’s. I’m not sure yet which but two of our young Swans will start.

Join us tonight on @TheHigherTempo for live coverage with kick-off taking place at 7:45pm, as always teams will come out shortly before.