Chelsea vs. Swansea City Soccer Pick: Mourinho Never Loses at Stamford Bridge

Kevin Stott

Monday, August 3, 2015 7:37 PM GMT

Monday, Aug. 3, 2015 7:37 PM GMT

Chelsea hosts upstart Swansea City, a team which showed much promise last year, but which has never beaten the Blues in EPL. So what are the best betting angles on a game with such a chalky favorite?

Odds Overview
Chelsea vs. Swansea City [Saturday 17:30] (NBCSN, NBC UNIVERSO, NBC Sports Live Extra (US); Sky Sports 1/HD UK, Sky Go UK, SKY GO Extra (UK); 12:30 p.m. ET/9:30 a.m. PT): So here we are again. The start of another English Premier League season. Everybody sitting on 0-0-0 and with 0 points and Zero Drama until the games begin this weekend, right? There’s never ever actually any drama in the EPL about non-handshakes and Manager’s apparel until the games actually begin. Why, who has the time for such nonsense? Here at Stamford Bridge in Week 1 action on Saturday, defending league champs Chelsea (26-9-3, 73 GF-32 GA) welcome last season’s 8th-place team, Swansea City (16-8-14, 46 GF-49 GA) in what, on paper, should be an Opening Day win and 3 points for the Blues. Oddsmakers here have made host Chelsea healthy -250 favorites here over visiting Swansea City (+700) with the Draw priced at +380 (Stan James). The Total Goals in this weekend fixture from West London has been set at 2½, with the Over at -133 and the Under priced at +105 (bet365). Some Props wagers for this Week 1 Premier League fixture: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ +100, ‘No’ -150 (bet365); To Win To Nil: Chelsea +120, Swansea City +1500 (BetVictor); and, Draw No Bet: Chelsea -1000, Swansea City+600 (Bet365).

 

Swansea City AFC
On paper (or your mobile device), Swansea City AFC (7-3-9 Away, 19 GF-27 GA) looks like it has absolutely no chance here to upset Chelsea at Home. The Swans have never beaten the Blues in EPL play and José Mourinho never loses at Stamford Bridge in EPL play. But with Manager Garry Monk leading Swansea to an 8th-place finish and record number of points (56) in the 2014/15 season and a couple of nice Summer Transfer Window signings in Eder (Braga) and Andre Ayew (Marseille), Swansea City could improve even more this season and possibly fight for a spot between 5th and 7th possibly and earn a berth into the UEFA Europa League. Six-foot-3-inch Lukasz Fabianski is the Swans’ GK and the 30-year-old Polish international could have Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernández, Ashley Williams and newly signed Franck Tabanou (Saint-Étienne) in front of him on the Swans back line with Jack Cork and Ki Sung-yueng in the Central Midfield. In the attacking Midfield, Swansea City could feature Nathan Dyer (+800 Anytime Goalscorer, 888sport), Gylfi Sigurðsson (+750), and Ayew (+750) with Bafetimbi Gomis (+500) up top at the Striker spot in Swans’ usual 4-2-3-1 tactical formation. Icelandic MF Sigurðsson (7 goals, 10 assists in 2014) is the key to Swansea City’s Offense, and with Monk locked up with a new contract extension and things looking up in Wales, this team hasn’t seemed to miss star Striker Wilfried Bony who was sold to Manchester City during the Winter Transfer break. Swans defeated Manchester United, Arsenal and Southampton last season and if there was ever a time that Swansea City (3000/1 to Win EPL title, William Hill) could beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, that time is right now and catching them off-guard in early August, like Swansea City did with the Red Devils last season would result in a massive return for Swans backers (+900, Ladbrokes).

 

Chelsea FC
With the health and availability of star Striker Diego Costa (Hamstring) for Chelsea a massive question mark and probably Top Secret information up until or maybe even at game-time, offering up an opinion to bet on the Blues almost seems irresponsible as Chelsea (+175 to win the EPL title, Coral) without the 20-goal scoring Costa is a completely different animal. Instead of opting for surgery in the Offseason on Costa’s problematic hamstring, the Blues and Manger
José Mourinho opted to let the injury try to heal the old fashioned way, and Costa’s absence in Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield on Sunday speaks volumes and Mourinho hasn’t guaranteed Costa will be ready for this opener. On Wednesday, in a Friendly against Italian Serie A side Fiorentina in the International Champions Cup at Stamford Bridge (Fox Sports 1 USA, Fox Sports GO Fox Soccer 2Go USA, ESPN3 USA, ESPN Deportes Plus (US); Sky Sports 1/HD, Sky GO Extra, Sky Go UK (UK); Odds: Chelsea -178, Fiorentina +491, Draw +344; Total: 2½o -139, 5Dimes), Mourinho has said that he is planning to start AS Monaco-loanee Radamel Falcao at Striker.
So, if Costa is unavailable for the EPL opener on Saturday versus Swansea City, backing the Blues may not be the best idea with Loïc Rémy and Falcao still unproven commodities and team legend Didier Drogba now playing for the Montreal Impact in the MLS. Not having Costa matters, not only for his physical presence and dependability up top in the Blues 4-2-3-1 tactical formation, but also because he has been especially effective against Swans, scoring 5 goals in the 2 meetings between the teams last season, both Chelsea wins (5-0, 4-2). If Costa is out, MF Eden Hazard will possibly have to provide some offense with AMF Willian, MF Cesc Fàbregas and maybe even MF Victor Moses contributing. The key, for those wanting to bet on Chelsea, is to check the status of Costa before Saturday, but expect Mourinho to be coy about the whole situation as he has been of late.

 

Current Form, Series Trends, Conclusions
Lifetime, as mentioned, Chelsea is an unbeaten 6-2-0 (19 GF-5 GA) in EPL play with Swans only victory against Chelsea coming in the Semifinals of the Capital One Cup (2-0) in 2013. Here at Home at Stamford Bridge in Premier League action against Swansea City, Chelsea is a perfect 4-0-0, outscoring Swans 11-3 in the process, including a 4-2 win last season. So, 2 of the 3 goals Swans have scored in West London came last year and on the heels of their best season yet and with Costa a variable and Swans confident they can win on the Road against the Fab Four with its’ Opening Day win at Old Trafford last season, this is actually a pretty good spot for Swansea City and there is more than enough value (+950, 888sport) there to be had. But with The Special One’s remarkable record at Home as Chelsea manager and with the talented and cat-like Thibaut Courtois in goal, an upset here will take something special. With it being the first game of the season and Swans pressing for that upset, expect a nervy pace early on (first 25 minutes) which could lead to a goal from either side and a race. This pace should be good for goals even if Costa (-112 Anytime Goalscorer, 888sport) can’t go—and it would be wise to expect that he won’t from a betting POV—Hazard (+145), Rémy (+118), Willian (+225), Fàbregas (+210), Oscar (+225) or maybe even one of Chelsea’s Defenders will come through with a goal.

In the end, this should be much tighter and more entertaining match than most expect, despite the Blues domination over Swansea City in the Premier League to date. And it the Swans do upset Chelsea here in Week 1, watch Swansea City’s 3000/1 Futures Book soccer odds (William Hill) drop like the temperatures do at night here in the Mojave Desert when the Sun goes down, not to mention the potential movement in other legitimate EPL title favorites Manchester City (+300, Paddy Power), Arsenal (+400, Ladbrokes) and Manchester United (+550, Ladbrokes).


Predicted Final Score: Chelsea 2 Swansea City 1 

Premier League Soccer Pick: Over 2½ -120, Both Teams To Score Yes +137 (Boylesports)

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