Nathan Ake has a lot to gain from this match. With the previous match having been quite poor from most of the defense, Ake has a chance to turn a great performance against Wolves into a start against Swansea. Since his return, Ake has had to wait patiently for a chance. This is his chance. And because he will likely play as a center back in the future, he will get the run-out there first and then possibly move wider with substitutes or formation shifts.
It may be a bit touch and go, but reports suggest that Terry will be recovered from his latest injury woe this season in time for the FA Cup fixture. This is the captain’s final season at Chelsea, and the FA Cup will be his last chance to don the Chelsea shirt unless Chelsea can bank some inconsequential matches down the line. Terry starting also gives Gary Cahill and David Luiz a much-needed break, and Terry should be able to handle a Championship strike force.
Kurt Zouma is Chelsea’s most promising center back prospect. Yes, even more so than Andreas Christensen. The sole reason he is not starting is due to his injury, from which he now seems fully recovered. This season was always going to be about his recovery, but next season he will return to a starting role. Matches such as this will give him the experience in Conte’s system that could see him starting sooner than the dawn of a new season.