Swans v Liverpool: The big talking points

21st January 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Swansea City will look to pull off a shock when they take on high-flying Liverpool at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night.

The Merseyside giants arrive in supreme form, but the Swans are playing with renewed optimism under Carlos Carvalhal.

Here are all the key talking points heading into the game.

Swans on the up

The Premier League table does not make pretty reading, but the Swans are at least showing signs that they may have the ability to get out of the mess they are in.

Carvalhal’s arrival has undoubtedly had an impact, with the Swans playing with more attacking intent and plenty of spirit in recent weeks.

And results under the Portuguese have been promising, with the Swans beaten only once in Carvalhal’s five games in charge – and that loss was controversial.

The Swans felt hard done by as two big refereeing decisions went against them when they were beaten by Spurs three weeks ago.

They will hope for more luck now as they face another of the division’s heavyweight clubs.

Rampant Reds

Liverpool may be quite a distance behind league leaders Manchester City in the table, but they showed just what a classy side they are by becoming the first side to topple Pep Guardiola’s team in the top flight this season last weekend.

The thrilling 4-3 triumph was the Reds’ fifth straight victory in all competitions, and extended their unbeaten run to 18 games.

They have lost just two league matches all season, in the reverse fixture against City and at Spurs.

What is certain is that they will head to Landore in confident mood.

Jordan’s joy

Jordan Ayew scored a fabulous individual goal to set the Swans on the path to FA Cup victory against Wolves last time out.

It was the second spectacular effort he has managed in a matter of weeks after that belting equaliser against Crystal Palace.

Add in crucial goals at Watford and Newcastle, and Ayew is enjoying his most prolific spell since he joined the Swans from Aston Villa a year ago.

More of the same against Liverpool would do very nicely.

Liverpool at the Liberty

Aside from last season’s unforgettable 3-2 away win and a goalless draw back in 2011, the Swans have had some ugly trips to Liverpool in the Premier League era.

But the Reds have not had anything like as much joy against the Swans at the Liberty Stadium.

In six past meetings, there have been two wins apiece and two draws.

History suggests, therefore, that Jurgen Klopp’s men will not have it all their own way this time around.

Tactical switch?

Carvalhal has tinkered with his formation a number of times in his short stint as Swans manager, with 3-4-2-1 his choice of set-up for the Wolves win.

What will the system be against Liverpool, and which players will be used?

The likelihood is that Klopp is not too sure.

Anfield slap

The Swans endured one of their most painful days of the season when they were thumped at Anfield on Boxing Day.

In their second game after Paul Clement’s departure, they crumbled all too easily after Philippe Coutinho’s early goal.

With Carvalhal’s team making strides, we can surely expect much more of a contest in the return fixture.