Chelsea return from the international break on Saturday when they face Swansea at Stamford Bridge. The Blues and the Swans are the only two teams with a 100% record so far in the Premier League so something must give.
Chelsea come in to this game on the back of a 6-3 win over Everton, their third straight win this season, although that momentum has been dampened somewhat because of the international break. Swansea will feel the same, after they won 3-0 against West Brom in their last game. They’ve already been to Old Trafford and won, so they’ll come to the Bridge full of confidence and certainly without fear.
Chelsea once again have a fully fit squad available, but we could see some changes from the side that took on Everton. Jose Mourinho will likely drop one of the three central midfielders that started at Goodison Park, in favour of a more attacking line up. Andre Schurrle was unlucky to miss out at Everton, and he’ll be in pole position to come back in to the side.
Also, with Brazil in action early on Wednesday morning GMT, the four Brazilians in the squad may have to sit out. That would make Ramires the favourite to drop out of the team for Schurrle. Filipe Luis will probably continue his spell on the bench, although one of Willian or Oscar will likely start.
Despite conceding three goals in their last game, Mourinho will probably keep with the same back four. Cesar Azpilicueta has been good at left back, while Branislav Ivanovic has been in outstanding form so far this season. The Serbian has scored in two of the three games and he’s been a vital part of the team to date.
Diego Costa could have a hamstring problem, after withdrawing from the Spanish squad last week, but he should be ok in time to play against Swansea. Costa played in Spain’s friendly against France, before withdrawing from the squad the day after. He returned to Chelsea for tests and he should be able to feature. If not, then we’ll see a debut for Loic Remy after his switch from QPR. He played for France against Costa and Spain in that game, and scored the winner so is sure to be full of confidence.
As for Swansea, they have a mostly fit squad, with Leon Britton their only injury worry. Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge have been their main danger men this season from the wings, while Chelsea will also have to deal with striker Wilfred Bony and the influential Gylfi Sigurdsson. Bony, a former international team mate of Didier Drogba, was linked with a move to the Blues in the transfer window, only for the club to sign Remy instead. The Swans attack shouldn’t be too much trouble for the Pensioners’ defence though – they’ve kept a clean sheet against the Welsh side in their last four meetings.
LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-0