Two-goal Diego Costa was the centre of attention once again as Chelsea came from behind to draw 2-2 against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.
Chance after chance came and went for the Blues, before Costa – who was lucky to still be on the pitch – crashed a bicycle kick home from close range after Branislav Ivanovic’s shot deflected into the air.
“People always ask me about his behaviour, but I am pleased because he showed me, he showed his team mates, and he showed everybody that he has fantastic behaviour, because with the fouls it was not easy”. On that occasion, Pedro replaced the Brazil worldwide midfielder, but otherwise there is clear evidence to suggest that the Italian is reluctant to tinker with a winning permutation of players.
On the bench, Conte has new signings Marcos Alonso and David Luiz if required, while Michy Batshuayi is an attacking option for the Italian to call for at any point over the 90 minutes. Is Conte likely to shuffle his defensive pack to accommodate their inclusion from the start?
“If you play well but don’t score, people say the performance is not good”.
Chelsea winger Victor Moses is enjoying the man-management of Antonio Conte.
He is no bigger than 9/5 to add to his tally at some stage in south Wales so the cat is well and truly out of the bag as his team bid to get back to winning ways against a side they failed to beat last season.
The likes of West Ham, Watford, Burnley and now Swansea, are all in the bottom half of the table and struggling to get points on the board.
They were pretty dire in the former but showed much more stomach for a fight – particulalrly in the second half – at the champions as manager Francesco Guidolin witnessed his side apply some late pressure that could have pinched a draw.
In the internal confrontation between these teams, often the victory remained on the side of Chelsea.
ESPN FC’s Brian McBride believes Antoine Griezmann is a hot commodity who could fit in any system. This was the first time I’ve been against Diego Costa, live, and he’s a very strong player.
For the match against the Welsh giants, Conte picks Diego Costa to lead the line and the Spaniard will be backed up by Eden Hazard and Oscar, while Willian will also look to create.
With Oscar and Willian also on hand to provide ammunition for Costa, Swansea’s defence will face a stern examination of its capabilities. In the new season, Chelsea have started without misfires.
The visitors are the favourites at [1.68], with Swansea at [6.0] and Chelsea at [4.1]. But it’s time to do well on the pitch, because I was disappointed with the last game at Leicester.