Chelsea v Swansea City: The big talking points

24th February 2017

Swansea City look to continue their upturn in form when they go to Stamford Bridge this weekend.
But Paul Clement's men are well aware that only their best will do as they take on a Chelsea side who are red-hot favourites to lift the Premier League title this spring.
Here are all the big talking points heading into the game.



Familiar surroundings 
Clement returns to his old stamping ground this weekend.
The Swans head coach worked part-time in Chelsea's academy between 1995 and 2000 then, having established himself at Fulham, he joined the Blues full time in 2007.
After working his way up the academy, Clement spent two years as assistant boss to Carlo Ancelotti before leaving in 2011.
Karl Halabi is another member of the Swans staff who has spent time at Chelsea, while Claude Makelele can expect a warm welcome as he returns to the club he helped to two Premier League titles.
The Frenchman made more than 200 appearances for the London club between 2003 and 2008. 



Razor-sharp Alfie
Alfie Mawson is not the highest scoring defender in the Premier League right now, but the statistics suggest he is the most prolific.
Mawson's volley against Leicester last time out means he has three top-flight goals this season.
Only three defenders have scored more in the Premier League in 2016-17. They are Gareth McAuley (five goals), Marcos Alonso - who has been playing wing-back for Chelsea - and Seamus Coleman (both four).
McAuley's goals have come in 25 appearances, while Alonso has played 20 times in the league and Coleman 22.
Mawson's three strikes have come in just 14 league outings for the Swans.
Gary Cahill, Charlie Daniels, Scott Dann, Michael Dawson, James Tomkins and Patrick van Aanholt all have three goals, but they have all made more appearances than Mawson.



Giving Chelsea the Blues
Antonio Conte's impressive Chelsea side dropped points for only the sixth time this season when they drew 1-1 at Burnley a fortnight ago.
Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool are the only clubs who have beaten the Blues in the Premier League in 2016-17, while Jurgen Klopp's team also claimed a draw against them in the reverse fixture.
The only other side to take a point off Chelsea? The Swans, thanks to a 2-2 draw at the Liberty back in September.
As was the case then, the Swans will be written off by most heading into this encounter - but they have already proved they are capable of upsetting the odds.



Midfield maestro
Gylfi Sigurdsson's brilliant pass for Martin Olsson against Leicester means he has been involved in 16 league goals this season - more than any other midfielder in the top flight.
Sigurdsson's tally - which includes eight goals and eight assists - puts him ahead of the likes of Sadio Mane (15), Adam Lallana (14), Dele Alli, Eden Hazard, Christian Eriksen and Kevin de Bruyne (all 13).
And that lot all play for clubs competing at the top end of the table, making Sigurdsson's contribution all the more laudable. 


 
Bridge of sighs
Swans fans will forever cherish their team's thrilling victory at Stamford Bridge in the Capital One Cup back in 2013, when Michu and Danny Graham scored to put Michael Laudrup's on the path to Wembley.
But in the league, there has not been so much for the Jack Army to celebrate on Chelsea's patch down the years.
The Swans have taken just one point from five previous visits in the Premier League, when Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis struck in a 2-2 draw on the opening day of last season.
In all, aside from that League Cup success, there have been 10 Chelsea wins and four draws since the Swans secured their only ever league triumph at the Bridge, back in 1925. 



Keeping pace
The Swans' recent upturn in form means they have seven Premier League victories to their name this season.
Interestingly, that is the same number they had at this stage in the 2013-14 campaign, which ended in a comfortable mid-table finish.
The 3-0 victory over Cardiff - achieved on February 8, 2014 - which marked the beginning of Garry Monk's reign was the club's seventh win of that season.
Monk's men did not seal victory No. 8 until Norwich were beaten on March 29.
Clement's side will hope to make it to eight much quicker this time around.