Swans team up with WhoScored.com
31st January 2015
Ahead of the trip to Southampton this weekend, we have teamed up with football statistics website WhoScored.com to take a detailed look at the numbers ahead of the clash.
A meeting between two of this season's most impressive Barclays Premier League outfits draws this weekend's action to a close, with the Swans paying a visit to St Mary's to face high-flying Southampton.
The home team will hope to keep up pace in the upper echelons of the league, but face an extremely tough task with Garry Monk's men coming to town.
Saints have dropped points in three of their last five home games, so there is certainly the chance for the Swans to head back to Wales having taken a positive result in this clash. Key to their chances, particularly in the absence of the suspended Gylfi Sigurdsson, will be the form of Jefferson Montero.
The Ecuadorian winger has done well since moving to the Liberty Stadium on the back of a highly impressive World Cup campaign in Brazil this summer, with his most notable performance to date coming against Arsenal when he tore the Gunners' defence apart on his way to being awarded man of the match, with an average WhoScored.com rating of 7.45 in Premier League starts - the highest of any Swansea player this season.
WhoScored.com calculate their ratings using a unique algorithm, which takes into account over 200 raw statistics live, during the game, each of which positively or negatively affects each player's score to give him a match rating to objectively reflect the quality his performance.
To put Montero's into context amongst his Premier League peers, he is amongst the top 20 players, ranking just ahead of the likes of Raheem Sterling (7.41), Wayne Rooney (7.36) Branislav Ivanovic (7.38). There is no denying the quality that has been on show Montero in the Ecuadorian's displays in his debut campaign in the English top flight.
WhoScored.com also record the strengths and weaknesses of both teams and players, with Montero boasting three major strengths of his own. Rated as 'very strong' his dribbling and pace are his best assets, and he will once again be a real threat when Swansea look to push forward. Also rated as 'strong' when it comes to key passes, he will look to provide for team-mates in the middle. His work rate also cannot be be called into question, with his defensive contribution also recognised as 'strong'.
Amongst Southampton's statistically calculated weaknesses is the fact they are poor when it comes to defending against counter attacks, so with the home team looking to attack their opponents on Sunday, Montero's pace on the break could cause them all manor of problems.
Southampton have one of the best defences in the league, but Montero proved in Brazil and with his performance against Arsenal that he is more than capable of ripping through any back line, so Saints will do well do be wary of him in the game that rounds off this weekend's action.
*WhoScored.com is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. You can follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @alitweedale on Twitter