Stamford Bridge will welcome the Welsh minnows for the first time in almost three decades. A seismic task for Swansea awaits exacerbated by Chelsea’s exceptional record against promoted teams.
Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 62 games against newly-promoted sides stretching back to April 2001, including 53 wins and 9 draws.
Indeed Swansea’s last and only victory at the London ground was on 25 November 1925 in Division Two.
Andre Villas-Boas will be confident of a comprehensive victory here. Roman Abramovich has made it clear he wants the Portuguese to use the League Cup as an exercise in blooding the club’s youngsters, affording Boas the opportunity to rest many of his established troops last Wednesday against Fulham.
The services of Didier Drogba, Juan Mata, Mikel Jon Obi, Jose Bosingwa (all unused substitutes), Raul Meireles, Fernando Torres, Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires (not in squad) were not required against the cottagers, leaving Boas with a revitalised set of superstars for Saturday’s clash with Swansea.
Indeed Chelsea’s only absentees will be Alex (Suspension) and the crocked Michael Essien (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) whilst Daniel Sturridge (Knee) is doubtful.
Brendan Rodgers will be fully aware of the mammoth task that faces his charges on Saturday. Rodgers spent four-and-a-half-years on the coaching staff at Chelsea as both Youth and Reserve team manager but says there will be no room for sentiment come kick-off time. “I arrived at Chelsea when I was 31 and I was fortunate enough to work with a manager who was world class and who saw something in me.” said Brendan.
“But my focus is now on winning games and sentiment doesn’t play any part in it; the objective is pure and simple-to win the game.”
Swansea have a few major injury worries with both Neil Taylor (Head) and Danny Graham (Back) doubtful. Craig Beattie, Kemy Agustien, Alan Tate and Steven Caulker are definitely out.
This promises to be a one-sided encounter, but confident following victory at a canter last weekend, Swansea will be hopeful of delaying the formalities of a Chelsea win at the very least.