You might think that there is nothing left to play for in the Premier League at this point. Manchester City has already won the league and it appears that both the Champions League spots and the relegation battle has been decided.
Not so fast my friend! Chelsea has closed the gap on Tottenham over the last two weeks and still has a chance to finish in the top four, claiming one of those Champions League spots. They are currently sitting five points back of Spurs with four games to play and need all the points they can get.
Also, the relegation battle is not quite over yet. It appears that West Brom and Stoke City will both drop, but Southampton still might catch Swansea City. The Saints sit just four points behind the Swans with four to play and have a favorable schedule. They also have a better goal differential than Swansea, meaning the Swans definitely need points here.
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Swansea City vs. Chelsea
Date and Time: April 28, 2018, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Liberty Stadium
US Television Coverage: NBCSN
Betting Line: Chelsea -1, O/U 2 and 2.5
The Swans have not been playing well recently. Swansea is winless over its last five matches, but incredibly they have lengthened their lead over the competition. Southampton has just one point over its last five, while Stoke City has just two.
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Picking up three draws was crucial for Swansea City. While the Swans were hammered by both clubs from Manchester, they secured draws versus Huddersfield Town, West Brom, and Everton.
Chelsea looked down and out when they were 10 points back at the beginning of the month, but the Blues have been able to knock off both Southampton and Burnley away from home in recent weeks. Coupled with some uncharacteristic struggles from Tottenham, that has given Chelsea a chance to make it after all.
These teams met at Stamford Bridge near the end of November, with Chelsea securing a 1-0 victory. The win was well-deserved for the Blues. They dominated the match with 21 shots compared to a scant two from Swansea, and they peppered Lukasz Fabianski with 10 shots on net. The Swans were unable to put either one of their shots on goal.
Antonio Rudiger netted the decisive strike, but afterwards the focus was on Antonio Conte. Conte had been removed from the sidelines for arguing a goal-kick, and that did not sit well with Roman Abramovich.
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Aside from the known long-term injuries, Chelsea is hoping that David Luiz will be back in action. Luiz has been out for nearly three months with a knee problem, and the Blues have been looking forward to his return for some time. That would be a boost to the back line.
Swansea City is not likely to have star acquisition Renato Sanches available. Sanches is still dealing with a hamstring injury, and he will likely miss the match. The club is more optimistic about captain Federico Fernandez’s chances to return. He suffered a knee injury against Manchester City, but manager Carlos Carvalhal seems confident in his prospects. The club is expecting midfielder Luciano Narsingh to be able to play in this one.
English Premier League Free Picks
Lukasz Fabianski has had a great year for the Swans. He has been one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League and has bailed them out of bad situations many times. Fabianski was superb the last time these clubs met, but this time Chelsea will be too much for him. I see the Blues breaking a deadlock with a late goal in order to pick up three points.
English Premier League Prediction: Chelsea 2, Swansea City 1