Chelsea v Swansea, 15:00
– Oscar and Eden Hazard struck for Chelsea in a match which they could only emerge from with a point following a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.
– Despite the headlines being about his incident with Luis Suarez, Branislav Ivanovic has had a stellar season that deserves headlines in its own right. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Ivanovic has completed 214 defensive contributions and 119 interceptions (both squad highs), as well as establishing a tackle success rate of 67.7% from 62 attempted challenges.
– Fernando Torres indicated this week that he has no intention of leaving Chelsea in the summer and instead intends to stay and fight for his place. Despite the Spaniard coming in for his fair share of criticism this season, Torres has been once of Chelsea’s most consistent attacking threats. Although the goals have not been coming as naturally for him as in previous season, he is still making all the right moves, on average managing to a shot on once every 46.2 minutes, with a solid shot accuracy rate of 65.4% from 55 attempts.
– With the season nearing it’s end and awards soon to be handed out, it will be difficult to look past the superb Juan Mata. The Spanish wizard has been in sublime form this season, leading the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for assists (16), as well as completing a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 2.5 minuets he’s been on the pitch.
– Despite dominating for large parts of the match, Swansea could only muster a point in a 0-0 draw against a determined Southampton side.
– Swansea will have prepared this week knowing full well that they will be tested heavily by a Chelsea side brimming with attacking talent. Leading the charge to repel these challenges will undoubtedly be Ashley Williams. The Welsh captain has been in outstanding defensive form this season, completing more interceptions and more blocks than anyone else in the league with 225 and 42 respectively.
– Expect Wayne Routledge to have a crucial role to play in the final few weeks of the season. He’s been one of Swansea’ primary creative outlets this term, racking up 6 assists to complement his 537 successful passes in the opponent’s half for Michael Laudrup’s side.
– With Michu dominating the headlines throughout this season, it could be easy to overlook the efforts of Luke Moore, who has also been in solid form in front of goal. He has the best shot accuracy rate of anyone in the Swansea squad, with 83.3% of his 18 efforts finding their way towards goal. He could well pop up with a decisive strike against Chelsea with all defensive eyes likely to be trained on Michu.