WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) takes a look at Sunday’s sole Premier League fixture. How will Chelsea fare in South Wales and can Antonio Conte keep up his perfect record?
Swansea v Chelsea | Sunday 16:00 | Sky Sports 1
The Swans were my pre-season bet for relegation and it’s off to a pretty good start. They dominated their season opener at Burnley and deserved all three points but since then they’ve lost to Leicester and Hull.
The defeat to Hull was a little harsh as the South Wales side had most of the ball and almost double Hull’s efforts on goal with 23. Regardless, they didn’t make it count.
Only three of those attempts were on target and Hull put in a brilliant away performance with limited resources.
Indeed, Shaun Maloney came off the bench to score the first goal of the game and he was the only senior player available outside of the starting XI. Hull then made it two through Abel Hernandez late on.
The result that followed was a 2-0 reverse at the hands of the champions, which of course is no embarrassment.
Swansea rallied well at 2-0 down to make it 2-1 and heap the pressure on the hosts in tough conditions. However, they should really have been 3-0 down to a Riyad Mahrez penalty and they only managed three shots on target.
Swansea are going through a rough patch in their Premier League career. They are playing fairly well but not getting results.
In the last year they have won just 11 of 37 Premier League matches and this time last season they went on a terrible run of W1-D3-L9 between September and Christmas scoring just eight goals in the process.
They actually beat Chelsea 1-0 last season but this was a Chelsea side in a transitory period under Guus Hiddink. The season prior the Blues romped home 5-0 at the Liberty and I think that game is a better indicator of what will happen this weekend.
The Blues have taken maximum points from their first three games under Antonio Conte and with the Manchester derby this weekend it’s a chance for the West Londoners to bypass their rivals and put down a marker.
Chelsea won their first four games in each of the four seasons that they won the Premier League; 2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10 and 2014/15. I believe that we may see that trend continue but the away win is not something I’ll back at a best price of 4/6 with Bet365.
Conte is a notorious tactician. Picking up away clean sheets is something he’s very accustomed to but the return of David Luiz doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence.
Coral go 7/5 for the home team to be shut out and I make that a better bet than the away win but it’s still a bit short.
Five of the Swans’ last six home defeats saw them fail to score and only two sides scored fewer goals than them at home last season; Crystal Palace and Aston Villa. Swansea actually scored more away.
I’ve decided to combine these indicators together. On the basis of all of the above, I make Chelsea two goals better than Swansea at the minute so rather than back the ‘Win To Nil’ I’m looking to the Combination Correct Score market.
Swansea v Chelsea – Chelsea to win 2-0 or 3-0 (22/5 BetVictor)