Chelsea and Swansea do battle on Boxing Day and whilst most of the nation will be recovering from a serious food and drink hangover, the players of these sides will be focused on this crucial game.
Christmas is no time to be a football player, least of all in England where the games come thick and fast, often in freezing weather conditions. A good rest, let alone endless days of feasting and stuffing oneself beyond the point of nausea, would be a welcome Christmas present for most Premier League stars but try not to feel too sorry for them of course, they do have the other 360 days of the year to spend their millions on Champagne, fast cars and faster women, and can buy themselves the sort of presents us mere mortals can only dream of dreaming about!
Anyway, to the game at hand. Chelsea are due to play away at Arsenal just three days prior to this one whilst the Swans will host Everton a day earlier, giving them a whole four day rest ahead of this one! The results of those games will have an impact on the outcome here and in fact the mere physical exertion of the preceding clashes is sure to be telling here.
Chelsea’s squad is clearly better equipped to deal with these tests than that of Swansea, and as hard as the Blues’ trip to the Emirates is, the Welsh side are sure to be tested as much, if not more, by Everton with the pressing, harrying style that has helped them prosper under Roberto Martinez. With both teams playing yet again just a few days after this, conserving energy could be crucial and rotation will be essential and so all in all we have to be confident the Blues will get the job done here.
Their form at the moment is far from convincing and their strikers just aren’t finishing the chances that are coming their way. That said, their form at home in the league remains superb, their only dropped points thus far being the 2-2 draw with West Brom. They were knocked out of the League Cup last week at Sunderland and went down 3-2 at Stoke in the away game prior to that but they have won their last three at home and with 22 points from 24 at Stamford Bridge they will be confident of getting a result.
Swansea have enjoyed a stuttering campaign as they have struggled to adapt to the requirements of playing Europa League football and their already weary squad may find the festive fixture overload a step too far. Michael Laudrup’s men have lost away at all three top 10 sides they have faced without scoring a goal and with just one win in six (prior to the Everton game) we think they could get overpowered here.
A relatively comfortable home win looks the order of the day and if the home strikers can find their shooting boots it could even be three or four.
LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 3-0