Talking tactics: Alfie Mawson
Football stats experts WhoScored.com take a closer look at Alfie Mawson ahead of Swansea City’s Premier League clash with Everton this afternoon.
Now could be good a time for Swansea City to play Everton, with Sam Allardyce’s side winning just one of their last eight competitive fixtures on the road and losing six.
They have struggled on their recent visits to Swansea, too, failing to win in their last four trips to the Liberty Stadium, losing two, including a 1-0 defeat in this fixture last season.
Swansea also come into this tie on the back of a good run of form on home turf.
They’ve won seven of their last eight matches at the Liberty Stadium, with their sole defeat in that run coming at the expense of Tottenham in their last match in South Wales.
They certainly have the means to keep Everton at bay today, but must not get complacent in their pursuit of a vital three points.
A key man in today’s meeting will be the highly rated Alfie Mawson.
The centre-back’s WhoScored.com rating (6.83) is the fourth best of all outfield players for the Swans and he will have a big part to play if Carlos Carvalhal’s team are to shut out Everton.
The Merseyside outfit have scored just 12 goals from their 16 away Premier League matches this season and, should Mawson and his defensive team-mates live up to expectations today, Everton’s away day woes could continue.
It’s not just at the back, either, where Mawson can make an impact on the outcome of the match.
At the other end of the pitch, the 24-year-old can maximise his goalscoring ability, particularly from set-piece situations. Mawson has developed a statistically calculated WhoScored.com style of play of ‘indirect set-piece threat’, with his two league goals this season coming from set-pieces.
One of Everton’s statistically calculated WhoScored.com weaknesses happens to be ‘avoiding fouling in dangerous areas’ and if Swansea can draw the fouls, then they can create the chances for Mawson to capitalise upon.
However, the priority comes in denying Everton the opportunity to score and it’s pivotal they keep Cenk Tosun at bay in his quest to extend his own good away run.
The Turkey international initially struggled to make an impact for the Toffees following his big-money arrival from Besiktas at the turn of the year, but he has begun to find form.
Indeed, while he has scored just four league goals following his move to England, three of those have been scored from his three league starts away from home.
He’s returning to his goalscoring best at just the right time for Everton, which could be bad news for Swansea if they fail to keep Tosun in check.
With Mawson continuing to impress, though, the Swans have the chance return to winning ways in today’s Premier League meeting as they bid to consolidate a top-flight spot.