Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Swansea City

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  • Chelsea swept season, scoring nine goals
  • Swans last league W vs. Chelsea came in 1981
  • Blues lead all-time series 14W-9D-6L

Chelsea’s run for another title begins with a visit from very tricky Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra).

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Two points in four years, that’s what Swansea has been able to pull from its four campaigns back in the Premier League. That includes the blowouts from 2014-15, 4-0 and 5-2 losses to the Blues.

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Diego Costa’s hamstring threatens to be a storyline for another season, and whether the Brazilian-born forward can go or not remains up for discussion.

‘There is nobody to blame,” said Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. “I can’t blame the player because he works hard. I completely trust the medical department.  I am calm, positive, and I believe he will be with us for many matches.”

What they’ve said

Mourinho on the early start to the season: “During the season we have to play three times a week almost every week, so I don’t think it would be a problem to start one week later and then one of these weeks have two fixtures. It would be better for everybody to have a proper holiday and a proper pre-season. Some did, some didn’t. It’s a choice you have to make but the ideal thing for the players, who have to play so many matches during the season, is to have proper holidays and a proper pre-season.’

Swans defender Neil Taylor on the task at hand: “We know that if we go there and play to the best of our ability then we’ve got a chance of getting a result. We’ll be right up for it, the game is on TV and we’ve got nothing to lose. There’s no good or bad time to play Chelsea, so it’s exciting to start the season there.”

Prediction

The Blues were not humming in the preseason, but look for them to be buoyed by their Stamford Bridge return. Maybe Swans break through for a goal, but Eden Hazard’s going to be the difference (as usual). Chelsea 2-1.