Chelsea will be looking for all three points to keep the pressure on teams above them in the Premier League table, when they welcome Swansea City to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.
Jose Mourinho's side have not been in good form in recent weeks. They were beaten by Stoke City in the league and eliminated from the League Cup by relegation battling Sunderland. However, the Blues managed to move to fourth spot in the league, just two points behind leaders Liverpool and Arsenal, thanks to a scrappy 2-1 win against Crystal Palace last week and a goalless draw at the Emirates on Monday.
Chelsea, however, do boast an impressive home record in the league this season, winning seven out of eight matches so far. And with Liverpool set to visit them this weekend, the west London outfit will be targeting a win against Swansea tonight, in order to put themselves in a perfect position to go above the Reds by the New Year.
The Swans, on the other hand, have struggled this season, with their Europa League commitments taking a toll on their domestic performances. The Welsh club has won just one of their last seven league matches, and only two of their last 13 outings in all competitions.
Swansea are currently 11th in the table, seven points clear of the drop zone. They have been less than impressive on their travels especially, winning just one of their last eight away games. Injury to last season's talisman Michu has also affected the club's form to a large extent. But Michael Laudrup will be hoping to turn the tables against Chelsea tonight, after winning 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in last year's League Cup semi-final, back in January.
Chelsea: Ryan Bertrand (unspecified) is unavailable for this tie, while Marco van Ginkel (knee) remains a long-term absentee. Otherwise, Mourinho has a full squad available but the manager is likely to rotate the squad, with league leaders Liverpool set to visit them on Sunday. Ashley Cole, Juan Mata and Oscar could all return to the starting line-up.
Swansea: Laudrup, on the other hand, has his fair share of injury problems as Michu, Nathan Dyer (both ankle) and Michel Vorm (knee) remain long-term absentees, while Garry Monk (knee) and Alan Tate (hamstring) are also sidelined.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for an 8.30pm IST start on Thursday night, with Sky Sports 4 providing live coverage in India. You can also catch all the action live online by clicking HERE. US viewers click HERE. To catch the action in Australia, click HERE. To live stream the match in the Middle East and North Africa, click HERE.
Expected lineups: Chelsea - Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Cole; Essien, Ramires; Mata, Oscar, Hazard; E'too
Swansea - Tremmel; Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies; Canas, Shelvey; Hernandez, de Guzman, Routledge; Bony
Prediction: 2-1 to Chelsea
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