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CHELSEA vs Swansea: Preview








Venue: Stamford Bridge

Date: Saturday, 24 September

Kick-off: 1500 BST


Funny how things work out eh? Four years ago, Andre Villas Boas and Brendan Rodgers were part of Jose Mourinho’s back-room staff, this afternoon they’re opposing managers in the Premier League. Both in their thirties, they’ve come a long way but then theyre both ambitious young managers and will come into this game with very different emotions.

For the new Chelsea manager, defeat against United last weekend was the first domestic league loss he’d had to suffer for 17 months but he’s finding out fast that the Premier League is a whole new world to the one he was used to at Porto.  As for Brendan Rodgers, his Swansea side come into this off the back of not just their first Premier League win but also their first Premier League goals and he’s a man who knows all about the club he faces.

Chelsea’s last game saw them go through both extra time and penalties in the midweek Carling Cup win over Fulham although seeing as AVB had chosen to make wholesale changes for that game, tiredness shouldn’t be an issue this afternoon.




AVB goes into this game off the back of a bit of criticism – not that Alan Hansen’s opinion counts for anything but the Chelsea manager defends his style of football saying “I agree that the way you win is as important as winning.  There are risks, but you have to take risks in life. The way we want to play is a more difficult path to win trophies. You can take various difficult ways and be extremely successful so I don’t criticise those who take an opposite approach.  But you have to believe in what you do and your players must believe in what they do. It’s an approach that benefits English football and culture of the game. I would do the same all over the season.”

Whilst clearly pissed off at Hansen’s comments, AVB has nothing but praise for his opposing number today, saying “Swansea are a team that plays fantastic football. There is, when you try to implement a philosophy like Brendan is trying to do, a dignity in the path he chooses because it is the difficult path for a team that needs points.  Brendan doesn’t relegate his philosophy to second place. There is a nobility of principles if you choose to obtain your objectives at a small club – even though Swansea is a city, and a club, which has a tremendous identification with the fans. When you do it there it is even more prestigious.”

Rodgers is equally respectful, although whilst acknowledging the side he faces, is confident in his own teams abilities, stating “In terms of power and money we shouldn’t be on the same field as Chelsea.  But I think we’ve shown… we can compete and we’ll bring the same idea to Stamford Bridge.  We know the task will be very difficult… but we’re very much a team that relies on our confidence and our attacking threat, but also to ensure that our discipline is very good.  We know we’re up against some world-class players, some outstanding players like John Terry and Frank Lampard and players of that quality.  But we have a great belief wherever we play, home or away, that we can cause a problem to a team.”

And allowing himself a few moments to reminisce, says “It (Chelsea) was a club that I probably wouldn’t be sat here today if it wasn’t for them, they gave me a wonderful opportunity.  I arrived there at 31 a nobody. I’d worked my way through at Reading and had a terrific nearly 10 years there.  But the move to Chelsea gave me a chance to work at a totally different level and I was fortunate enough that they’d seen something in me to give me that chance, to work with some of the biggest players in European football.  So I’ll always be grateful for that and it’s my first time back there as a manager and I’m really looking forward to the game.  Since I’ve left there to move into management, everywhere I’ve gone I’ve always been given a great reception by Chelseas supporters.  But ultimitely we’re going back to play a game of football and hopefully continue with our good form.”




For Chelsea, Michael Essien and Daniel Sturridge (knee) both miss out and Alex is suspended for this one although Petr Cech makes it back after his trip to A&E following a knock on the head against Fulham.

For Swansea, Alan Tate (broken leg), Steven Caulker (knee) Kemy Agustien (hamstring) and Craig Beattie (ankle) are all sidelined, although Danny Graham (back)  and Neil Taylor (head) are available for selection again.




CHELSEA (from): Cech, Ivanovic, Bosingwa, Ferreira, Terry, Luiz, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Romeu, McEachran, Ramires, Lampard, Meireles, Mata, Malouda, Torres, Drogba, Anelka, Sturridge, Kalou, Lukaku, Turnbull.

SWANSEA (from): Vorm, Williams, Taylor, Britton, Graham, Sinclair, Dyer, Dobbie, Routledge, Monk, Lita, Moore, Bessone, Moreira, Rangel, Allen, Tremmel, Gower, Richards, Lucas.



Didn’t happen.




We’ve never met in the top flight before but the last time Swansea came to Stamford Bridge (Dec 1983), they went home with a 6-1 defeat to reflect on.  We’re also unbeaten in our last 62 league games against promoted sides  so you might imagine that won’t change now. Then again, you might not have imagined we’d finding ourselves playing Swansea in the Premier League in the first place…..



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


September 2011
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