THE defending champions return to action in the late game on Saturday. How will Chelsea fare against Swansea? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) looks at the odds.
Chelsea v Swansea | Saturday 17:30 | Sky Sports 1
On opening day last year it was Swansea who were the heroes. Yes, Garry Monk’s side overcame enormous odds to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and ruin Louis Van Gaal’s first competitive day in charge. Can they do something similar this season? No.
Chelsea haven’t lost their opening match of the season since 1998/99 and usually come out the traps strongly. On Saturday they go for a fourth consecutive opening weekend win and should get it.
Losing to Arsenal in Sunday’s Community Shield wasn’t the ideal prep for the new season and the meek performance of forwards Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao only serve to highlight the importance of Diego Costa.
Will the Spaniard play on Saturday? Jose Mourinho has been keeping his cards close to his chest all week. Of course one mustn’t read too much into his comments but it is cause for concern.
One of the most eye-catching trends from last season was the run between late-January and late-April when Chelsea failed to win by more than one goal. Have they improved massively from the second half of the season? It’s unlikely. Perhaps with more signings under their belt that might be different come early-September.
I’m happy to plump for a conservative Chelsea win on Saturday, the debate for me is whether Swansea can score. Their record against Top 4 sides last season was superb. They scored in seven of their eight matches against the elite and actually won four of them. Will they be as effective this season? Will new signing Eder be a success?
We won’t know the answer to those questions after Saturday but I’ll factor in a possible Swansea goal on Saturday into my bet. 11/10 is a decent price for exactly two or three goals in this match. That paid out in four of Swansea’s eight matches against Top 4 opposition last season and to me it’s the right pitch for this fixture.
Chelsea v Swansea – Exactly 2 or 3 Goals (11/10 BetVictor)
Wow! Coral are offering new players odds of 6/1 that we see any goal scored in the Premier League before 5pm on Saturday!
So as long as there’s a goal in either the lunchtime game or the four 3pm kick-offs you’ll get paid out!