Mark Lawrenson explains why Chelsea are top, predicts Swansea result

The former Liverpool defender has lauded Chelsea’s ability to keep clean sheets.

Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has cited Chelsea’s resilience at the back as the main reason for their current Premier League position and has backed them to beat Swansea City 2-0 in his weekly predictions for BBC Sport.

The Blues currently top the Premier League table, two points ahead of second-placed Manchester City and a further 10 clear of Southampton, who are third.

While it’s safe to say that the title is a two-horse race, many observers believe that Jose Mourinho’s side have the edge as a result of their ability to grind out results when not at their best.

So far this season, the West Londonders have achieved 10 clean sheets – three more than City – and their recent victory over Newcastle United demonstrated their ability to get the job done.

Chelsea head into Saturday’s clash at Swansea with just one away win in their last five matches, but that dip in form has not prevented BBC pundit Lawrenson from backing the Blues to come away with the three points.

“It is the start of a busy week for Chelsea, who follow this game with the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final with Liverpool, then play title rivals Manchester City the following weekend,” he told BBC Sport. “I am not sure any of that will help Swansea too much, though.

"Chelsea were not very good in the first half of their last match against Newcastle, but they kept a clean sheet and went on to win comfortably. Their ability to do that is why they are where they are, at the top of the table.”

Mourinho confirmed to the official Chelsea website that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is fit to play, but it remains to be seen whether he brings him back into the team ahead of Petr Cech.

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