Preview: Chelsea v Swans

9th January 2013

The Swans travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday for the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final (7.45pm).

Michael Laudrup's side have reached the last four of the competition for the first time in the club's history, but face a tough task against the reigning European champions.

The last time the Swans reached a major semi-final was back in 1964 when they were beaten by Preston in the last four of the FA Cup.

Since then, the club has experienced a number of highs and lows but with the current squad sitting 9th in the Premier League, the history books could yet be rewritten in SA1 this year.

However, they face a Chelsea side who are hunting for a first trophy of the campaign, with interim boss Rafa Benitez also looking to win over the club's supporters.

The former Liverpool manager took over from popular figure Roberto Di Matteo in November and following their return from the World Club Championship, has guided the Blues to just one defeat in their last six outings.

This is Chelsea's 11th League Cup semi-final, reaching the final on six different occasions.

Benitez will be without goalkeeper Petr Cech (groin), while both John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses have departed for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Meanwhile, Michael Laudrup has confirmed that goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel will start for the Swans, while Pablo Hernandez and Michu could be restored to the starting line-up after starting Sunday's clash with Arsenal on the bench.


What they said

Chelsea interim boss Rafa Benitez:
"We want to win every game, we know it's a semi-final and we will try to be in the final.
"We have a lot of respect for Swansea, they are a good team and they are doing well. It could be an interesting game for the fans."

Swans boss Michael Laudrup: "It's a very important game for everyone at the club. But we have good confidence when we play against the big teams.
"The last two months have been very positive for us, we have only lost twice in that time and we have a great spirit within the squad.
"Tomorrow's game is only the first half, and we must take it one step at a time."



Head to head

The two clubs have only met once in the League Cup, when Chelsea beat Swansea 3-2 at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round of the competition in November 1964.

The last two matches between the clubs have ended in a 1-1 draw (both in the Premier League at the Liberty Stadium).


Chelsea stats

Chelsea will be appearing in the League Cup semi-final for the 11th time. They have progressed through to the final in six of their previous 10, including the last three

The Blues have won 18 and lost just three of their last 25 League Cup games at Stamford Bridge

Rafa Benitez's side have only won two of their last six home games in all competitions, drawing three and losing one



Swansea stats

Swansea, meanwhile, have never made the last four of this competition and have not made the semis of a major domestic cup since the 1964 FA Cup, where they were beaten by Preston

Swansea have scored a goal inside the last 10 minutes of all four of their Capital One Cup games this term

Michael Laudrup's men have only lost one of their last seven away games in all competitions, winning four


32Red odds: Chelsea 5/11 Swans 34/5 Draw 7/2