Swansea City manager Paul Clement.
Swansea City manager Paul Clement. Nick Potts

Tough ask for Clement on return to Chelsea

FOOTBALL: Swansea City manager Paul Clement is looking forward to a return to where he started his coaching career when his team takes on English Premier League leader Chelsea tonight (AEST).

Clement was the academy coach at Stamford Bridge between 1996 and 1999 before returning in the role of first-team coach under Guus Hiddink in 2009.

He was also assistant manager to Carlo Ancelotti when the Blues won the double in 2010, and will return for the first time having left the following year, eventually linking up again with the Italian at both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Clement will take his Swansea side to west London in the middle of a great run of results - four wins from six games - which won him the manager of the month award for January.

The ex-Derby County boss had taken charge at the Liberty Stadium at the start of the new year with Swansea rooted to the bottom of the EPL ladder.

He has overseen a turnaround that now has the Welsh outfit four points clear of the relegation zone after a win last time out over champion Leicester.

The Swans have also shown they will not be intimidated by the big teams after a 3-2 win at Anfield over Liverpool and coming within moments leaving the Etihad Stadium with a point before Gabriel Jesus's stoppage-time winner for Manchester City.

While being confident, Clement said he knew how difficult tonight's game would be.

"It is a big task for us," he said.

"We went to Liverpool with a very positive attitude and also Manchester City, where we were very close to getting something as well.

"We will approach this with the same mentality and try and execute the plan on Saturday."

Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United are not in league action this week, due to fixture clashes created by tomorrow night's League Cup final between Southampton and United.

That means Chelsea has an opportunity to stretch its lead.

Fifth-placed Liverpool plays Leicester City on Tuesday morning (AEST), while third-placed Tottenham Hotspur entertains Stoke City tomorrow night.

News Corp Australia

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