The only sides boasting a 100% record after three games will meet at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon in a game in which one side’s march will be halted. Chelsea were expected to be in the position they find themselves after three decent opening fixtures, but Swansea have shocked the league to an extent with their start – especially the 2-1 season-opening win at Old Trafford.
The Blues have bashed 11 goals while the Swans have only conceded one, stats you may expect to have been reversed give Jose Mourinho’s penchant for tight football and getting the result.
Here at FFC Towers we’ve been crunching the stats and looking at the form, and here are three players from each side we think could make the difference.
Mourinho will be the most relieved manager in the country come Saturday, with reports suggesting that hamstring worries will not rob him of Costa. The bustling Spain international has been electric in his opening three games, with his four goals having helped Chelsea to maintain their 100% record.
The ex-Atletico Madrid hit-man will fancy his chances against the Swans after netting over 30 goals last term, and his tendency to pop up in the right areas could once again prove vital for the Blues.
Three goals in three game sis some record for a winger. Dyer has really been excellent for the Swans so far this term, with his pace and, importantly, end product vital in the three wins registered by Garry Monk’s men.
He may not be afforded the time and space he has been in other fixtures at Stamford Bridge, but the impish wide-man will need to be watched carefully by Mourinho.
The joint top assist maker in the Premier League so far, Fabregas certainly has shown that the move back to England should never have raised any doubts. The Spaniard will once again be the deep creative force in Chelsea’s midfield, where he will use Namanja Matic’s excellent holding abilities to take advantage of the space and feed the likes of Costa and Eden Hazard.
There’s little Swansea will be able to do to stop a in-form Fabregas, but Ki Sung-Yueng may be used to attempt to nullify the ex-Barcelona passer master.
The only man in the Premier League able to match Fabregas’ four assists so far is Sigurdsson, who has been a revelation since his return to Swansea from Tottenham. The Icelandic playmaker starred for the Swans during a brief loan stint before joining Spurs, where he failed to replicate the sort of form he showed in the south of Wales.
Afforded the central attacking midfield role at the Liberty Stadium, Sigurdsson has once again been doing what he does best, and his ability to find the right ball will be a worry for Chelsea. The only problem could be a lack of pace, which might see him struggle to get the space he needs against Chelsea’s powerful and energetic midfield.
An unorthodox full-back in the modern era, Ivanovic has become one of Chelsea’s major threats over the years, The rugged Eastern European is surprisingly adept on the ball for a man of his size, and his strength makes him a constant threat from set-pieces.
Mourinho will need Ivanovic on form to shackle Dyer and Wayne Routledge, which could be vital in keeping things tight at the back.
Arsenal’s old back-up man has proven that first-team football is not beyond him with a fine start to life at Swansea. With an impressive shot-stopping ratio so far, Fabianski will need to maintain his form against Chelsea, whose attacking threats are likely to pepper his goal in west London.
There’s no reason that a clean sheet is not possible, but the Pole will need to be at the very top of his game to ensure that his attackers have the chance to nick a result for the Swans.