Premier League: Chelsea v Swansea City match preview

A look ahead to the Boxing Day fixture at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea will be hoping for a late Christmas present on Thursday with victory over Swansea and results going their way could see Jose Mourinho’s team return to the top of the tree for the first time since September.

Monday’s goalless draw between Chelsea and Arsenal demonstrated this might be the tightest Premier League season ever, as with Mourinho’s men currently occupying the final Champions League spot, only two points separate the top five after 17 matches.

Having not lost at home on Boxing Day since 1995, and with Mourinho never losing a league fixture at Stamford Bridge over his two spells as manager, Chelsea will be looking to continue their impressive run with three points before hosting Liverpool.

Michael Laudrup’s side will be looking to bounce back after Sunday’s home defeat to Everton, and whilst history is against the Swans, a victory could spark them above their 11th position and into a consistent run of form domestically, which has been hampered by the club’s involvement in the Europa League.

Having been three points better off at the same stage last season, Swansea would have been disappointed not to win in any of their previous three as they enter a tough run of fixtures which include both Manchester clubs and Tottenham.

KICK-OFF: Thursday, 3:00pm

PAST MEETINGS

Chelsea 2 (Oscar, Lampard) Swansea 0, Premier League, April 2013

Swansea 0 Chelsea 0, League Cup Semi Final 2 Leg, January 2013

Chelsea 0 Swansea 2 (Michu, Graham), League Cup Semi Final 1 Leg, January 2013

Swansea 1 (Hernandez) Chelsea 1 (Moses), Premier League, November 2012

Swansea 1 (Sinclair) Chelsea 1 (Taylor OG), Premier League, January 2012

Chelsea 4 (Torres, Ramires 2, Drogba) Swansea 1 (Williams), Premier League, September 2011

STATS

Chelsea

Chelsea have only lost one of their last eight Boxing Day fixtures, and have not lost at home on this day since a London derby defeat to Wimbledon in 1995.

Jose Mourinho’s side have scored 32 times so far in the league and their top scorer, Eden Hazard, leads the way on six – 13 behind Premier League leader Luis Suarez.

Mourinho has gone undefeated in all 66 of his home league games in charge of Chelsea.

Swansea

Swansea have failed to win on Boxing Day since 2007 when they beat Cheltenham Town in the third tier of English football.

Despite winning at Stamford Bridge in their League Cup semi-final in January, Swansea have failed to beat their opponents at home in the league since 1925.

During Sunday home defeat to Everton, the Swans became the first team this season to reach 10,000 passes. They eventually ended on 10,047.

ODDS

Chelsea to win: 1.3

Swansea to win:  11.0

Draw: 4.8

TV: Highlights on BBC’s MOTD at 10.25pm.

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