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PL Preview: Swansea vs. Chelsea

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  • Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso serves the second of his three-match suspension but otherwise the Blues have no fresh injury concerns.
  • A Chelsea win, in Antonio Conte‘s 73rd match, would make him the third-quickest manager in PL history to reach 50 wins, behind Jose Mourinho’s 63 matches and Pep Guardiola‘s 69.
  • Swansea City has won one of their 13 Premier League matches against Chelsea (D4 L8), a 1-0 victory in April 2016. 
  • Center-backs Federico Fernandez and Kyle Bartley are doubts for Swansea City with knee injuries, while Luciano Narsingh (ankle) will be assessed.

With both teams playing to improve their standing in the league, plenty is on the line as Swansea City hosts Chelsea Saturday afternoon. (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com)

Chelsea, just five points behind fourth-place Tottenham with three games remaining, looks to build on the momentum from last weekend’s FA Cup semifinal win by closing out the season on a high, potentially getting into the Champions League.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

For Swansea, which sits four points above the relegation zone, a win against a top-six side in Chelsea should be enough to keep them up and secure the great escape.

What they’re saying

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte on trying to sneak into fourth place

‘First of all we have to try to get three points. We are playing against a team fighting to avoid relegation. In the last five games at home, Swansea have won four and drawn once. It means they are in good form. If we want to continue to have hope of taking a Champions League place, we need to get three points and try to put a bit on pressure on the teams who are ahead of us. The reality is that Tottenham have a big advantage, but the only way to try to put a bit pressure on them is to get three points tomorrow.”

Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal on hosting Chelsea

“I have confidence in my team and in the fans also. The way we played in the last home game against Everton was the same level we played at against Liverpool and Arsenal. The only difference in that game was that the efficiency was not there, but we played very well. We are playing very well at home. We have felt the energy of the Liberty and our players feel comfortable when they are playing there. This is very important. I am sure the fans will push the team again this weekend and this will help us.”

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Prediction

Swansea City doesn’t have a great record against Chelsea in the past and with the Blues in good form, it will be tough for the hosts to pull off a stunner. Swansea City 1-3 Chelsea

Tottenham beat Swansea to reach FA Cup semis

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Tottenham Hotspur beat Swansea City 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday to book their spot in the FA Cup semifinal for the second time in as many seasons.

With Harry Kane out injured, plus the likes of Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele on the bench, Christian Eriksen was the star of the show as he scored twice, while Erik Lamela added another in a game Mauricio Pochettino‘s men dominated from start to finish as their final chance of silverware this season remains intact.

The semifinals of the FA Cup being held at Wembley Stadium on April 21-22 also give Spurs a big advantage as Wembley has been their temporary home ground for the 2017-18 season.

Swansea will now focus on staying in the Premier League as Carlos Carvalhal‘s men are battling against relegation.

[ MORE: Follow all the FA Cup scores ] 

Early on Nathan Dyer burst through and although it looked like he could’ve won a penalty kick as Michel Vorm raced out, neither the referee or VAR awarded the Swans a penalty kick.

Spurs then took the lead with a moment of magic as Eriksen ran towards goal and curled home a superb effort into the far corner to give his side the lead. That was his seventh goal in 10 games against the Swans.

Tottenham then dominated much of the game after going ahead as Eriksen’s perfect ball over the top found Heung-Min Son and he finished magnificently off the crossbar but the South Korean star was flagged offside and VAR decided that was the correct call. Another moment of controversy surrounding VAR…

Chances kept coming for Spurs. A cross from the left almost found Lucas Moura at the near post but he couldn’t quite get on the end of it, then Eriksen had a curling effort tipped onto the bar by Nordfeldt and Eric Dier nodded just over as Tottenham totally dominated the first half.

Lamela made it 2-0 right on half time as he ran towards goal and curled home a low shot past the unsighted Nordfeldt.

At half time Luciano Narsingh came on for the Swans as they tried to get back into the game.

Martin Olsson had a rasper pushed away by Vorm and the former Swansea goalkeeper then denied Tammy Abraham with a fine double stop. At the other end Dier’s long-range shot was tipped wide by Nordfeldt brilliantly as the game opened up.

Eriksen then finished the game off as Moura found him on the edge of the box and his low shot crept past several Swansea defenders and in. Game. Set. Match.

Tottenham could’ve added more goals late on but they settled for three goals as Swansea were in full damage limitation mode.

FA Cup replays: Swans hang 8, Huddersfield needs ET

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The pair of Premier League combatants contesting FA Cup replays on Tuesday combined for 12 goals, but one posted their big number in much more convincing fashion.

[ PL PLAYBACK: What’s wrong with Chelsea? ]

The other match saw a League One side advance to the fifth round.

Swansea City 8-1 Notts County

Carlos Carvalhal’s Welsh good vibes continue to pile up as Swans battered Kevin Nolan‘s League Two promotion hopefuls at the Liberty Stadium, setting up a visit to Sheffield Wednesday.

Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham sandwiched first half goals around a pair from Nathan Dyer, and Kyle Naughton and Wayne Routledge both netted in the second half before Tom Carroll made it seven.

Twenty-year old Daniel James scored his first goal for Swans. Abraham also had an assist, while Luciano Narsingh had assists on the three others first half goals.

Noor Husin scored County’s goal.

Birmingham City 1-1 (1-4 aet) Huddersfield Town

Aaron Mooy found Steve Mounie at the start of extra time to push Huddersfield Town into the fifth round and a visit from Manchester United. Town split the PL season series with United, but won 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium on Oct. 21 before losing to the Red Devils at the weekend.

Rajiv Van la Parra and Tom Ince also scored in extra time for David Wagner‘s Premier League visitors, who controlled the ball and chances but went to extra time without having put a ball in the goal.

England U-20 veteran Che Adams put the Blues ahead in the 52nd minute, but Marc Roberts posted an own goal to level the score in the 60th.

Rochdale 1-0 Millwall

The League One hosts roll onto the fifth round after Ian Henderson scored in the 53rd minute. Rochdale will meet either Spurs or Newport County.

FA Cup Roundup: West Ham upset, Brighton wins late

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The main slate of FA Cup action has come to a conclusion, and it has seen a pair of Premier League clubs eliminated from competition.

West Ham was upset by League One leaders Wigan 2-0, with Will Grigg scoring a pair to put the Hammers to bed. David Moyes will be livid, as his comeback bid was dealt a serious blow when a petulant act by left-back Arthur Masuaku saw the Hammers reduced to 10 men. The 25-year-old spit on Wigan’s Nick Powell, well spotted by the referee who was left with no choice but to send Masuaku off just four minutes into the second half. The second Wigan goal was dubious after a penalty was given for a poor handball call on Reese Burke, but it was deserved as the home side was well on top throughout the second half.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores here ]

Brighton & Hove Albion moved on, but the Premier League side needed a late winner as Glenn Murray broke the scoreless deadlock with Middlesbrough in the 90th minute. Markus Suttner sent in a lofted cross from the left into the box, and Murray was there to strike it viciously with his right foot and bury it into the back of the net for the match-winner. Murray’s last three goals for Brighton have all given them a one-goal lead, and both his FA Cup goals are winners coming in the 87th and 90th minutes.

Southampton topped fellow Premier League adversaries Watford with a goal from Jack Stephens in the fourth minute. Shane Long‘s initial shot was saved by Oresis Karnestis, but the 24-year-old Stephens was there to bury the rebound on his birthday, marking his first goal for Southampton.

Swansea City, already bottom of the Premier League table, was held to a 1-1 draw by League Two side Notts County, pegged back as Jon Stead struck past the half-hour mark to cancel out Luciano Narsingh‘s opener. There was a hint of offside on the Notts goal, but too close to call as the goal stood. Swansea will come home for the replay against the side a full 50 places below them.

Huddersfield was also held at 1-1 by a lower league opponent after former Premier League striker Lukas Jutkiewicz scored for Birmingham City in the 64th minute, canceling out Steve Mounie‘s 21st minute score. Millwall forced a replay with Rochdale after a late equalizer by Ben Thompson in the 90th minute.

Earlier Saturday morning, Leicester City trounced League One club Peterborough 5-1, although that scoreline was maybe harsh on the underdogs who saw three goals smashed in through the first half hour before hanging on for much of the match, even cutting the deficit to two early in the second half.

Tottenham’s fate is still to be decided as they travel to League Two club Newport County, while Liverpool hosts fellow Premier League side West Brom at 2:45 p.m. ET.

RESULTS

Peterborough United 1-5 Leicester City
Middlesbrough 0-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Notts County 1-1 Swansea City
Southampton 1-0 Watford
Wigan Athletic 2-0 West Ham United
Huddersfield Town 1-1 Birmingham City
Hull City 2-1 Nottingham Forest
Millwall 2-2 Rochdale
MK Dons 0-1 Coventry City
Sheffield United 1-0 Preston North End
Newport County vs. Tottenham (12:30 p.m. ET)
Liverpool vs. West Bromwich Albion (2:45 p.m. ET)

Watch Live: Swansea City vs. Liverpool

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Swansea City’s bid to slow down steamrolling Liverpool begins at 3 p.m. ET Monday at the Liberty Stadium (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

The rampaging Reds are coming off a 4-3 win that ended Manchester City’s unbeaten Premier League season, and will hope to avoid a let down against desperate Swans.

The Welsh hosts are six points adrift in the race for Premier League safety, and look set for a 5-4-1 with Jordan Ayew the only forward. Wilfried Bony and Oliver McBurnie are on the bench along with attack-minded Luciano Narsingh.

LINEUPS

Swansea City: Fabianski, Naughton, Van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Ki, Fer, Clucas, Dyer, Ayew. Subs: Nordfeldt, Bartley, Roque Mesa, Carroll, Narsingh, McBurnie, Bony.

Liverpool: Karius, Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Can, Wijnaldum, Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Firmino. Subs: Mignolet, Milner, Klavan, Lallana, Ings, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold.