Tottenham’s defeat to Leicester last night has presented Chelsea with the perfect opportunity in which to pull further clear of their London rivals and in turn solidify their own Champions League spot. Tonight they will look for maximum points as Paul Clement brings his Swansea team to town.
Antonio Conte had to make do with a draw at Anfield on Saturday, there was perhaps a small element of fortune in the goal that got Chelsea back into the game. Willian had only been on the pitch for 144 seconds before restoring parity.
Whether the ball that ended up in the net was actually intended to be a shot or cross only the Brazilian would know and even if it was meant to be the latter you get the feeling that he would be shortcoming in his honesty, at the end of the day though they all count and it was enough to give the defending champions a share of the points.
That however has seen them drop another two points to runaway league leaders Manchester City with the gap now standing at 11 points. I don’t think Antonio Conte will officially say that the title race is over but there must be some level of realisation of the reality in front of them.
With that being the case the template for the four other clubs in Europe’s top club competition is having a proper crack at winning the Champions League while making sure you are in a position to return there next season, it’s perhaps too early to be putting your eggs in one basket but the focus may now shift to continental matters.
That said you cannot take your eyes off the job in hand and that job will be getting maximum points against a Swansea side who are now the lowest scorers in the Premier League after another blank last weekend. Although this time around it did manage to warrant a point.
That is because Paul Clement’s side managed to grind out a point at home to Bournemouth, however with Palace picking up a draw last night and picking up momentum under Roy Hodgson it is now only goal difference keeping the Swans of the bottom of the table.
Swansea have only scored seven goals this season with Tammy Abraham scoring more than the rest of the team combined. The England international has scored four while the others have scored three and the fact that he again will not feature tonight does not bode well.
He cannot play due to the loan agreement between Chelsea and Swansea and that means that it will be down to Wilfried Bony to lead the line again, with the Ivorian looking for his first Premier League goal in nine outings, it is fair to say this evening would be the ideal time to break that barren run.
Not only that though it would be a perfect time for Renato Sanches to pull something out of his locker, the on loan Portuguese midfielder had been linked with a move to Chelsea but the West Londoners may well feel that they have dodged a bullet there.
That is because the Euro 2016 winner has played 461 minutes in the Premier League without making a positive contribution (that being either a goal or assist) and it is fair to say that he is starting to come in for some criticism from outsiders.
However Paul Clement is backing him and still has the belief that the youngster will come good during his loan spell at the Liberty Stadium. To be honest with the lack of talent that they have available then he has to, so that his current club can give themselves the best possible chance of beating the drop.
As for Tonight though I cannot see them getting much joy out of their trip to Stamford Bridge it is quite apparent that their lack of goals is the thing that is weighing them down and I think Chelsea will have too much in their locker to be worried by the opposition. A home win for me.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) November 28, 2017