Talking tactics: Andy King

7th April 2018
First team

Football stat experts take a closer look at Andy King ahead of Swansea City's Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion this afternoon (3pm).

West Brom are mired in the relegation zone with defeat to Burnley last weekend costing Alan Pardew his job at The Hawthorns.

With the team in disarray and glued to the bottom of the table, now is as good a time as any to face the Baggies.

Indeed, West Brom are on the longest current losing streak in Europe’s top five leagues, having fallen to defeat in their last eight Premier League matches.

Albion are 10 points from safety and needing victory this afternoon to kickstart a miraculous push to save their top-flight spot, meaning Swansea City could hammer another nail into the coffin with an away win in the Midlands.

That being said, Carlos Carvalhal’s side need to guard against complacency today if they are to secure three points and open up a gap between themselves and the bottom three.

They boast the necessary personnel to haul themselves up the table and, with Andy King impressing on the back of his January switch to the Liberty Stadium, the Wales international may have a key role to play.

King has made just four Premier League appearances following his arrival from Leicetser, but the Swans have lost only the once in that time, to a Manchester United side who have been defeated just three times at home in all competitions since the start of the 2016-17 season.

King has the experience and midfield quality to both apply pressure to the West Brom defence and ensure the Baggies endure a torrid time trying to break Swansea down.

When it comes to attacking, King has developed a statistically calculated strength of ‘long shots’, while one of West Brom’s many weaknesses happens to be ‘defending against long shots’.

Should the 29-year-old find himself in space, he has the means to test Baggies shotstopper Ben Foster from distance, which could prove an effective route to goal against a West Brom side who have conceded 26 home league goals this season. Only Watford (28) have shipped more.

King won’t enjoy a routine afternoon today, however.

Under the watchful eye of Darren Moore for the first time, West Brom are an unknown quantity, but then things couldn’t be any worse than they were under Pardew.

With Gareth Barry sidelined, attention turns to Jake Livermore as the man to keep King at bay.

The England international boasts a statistically calculated strength of ‘concentration’, with Livermore’s defensive knowhow enabling him to deny opponents when on top form.

That being said, his best performances have been few and far between this season.

Of West Brom players to make 10 or more league starts this term, Livermore has a lower rating (6.44) than any player.

Should King get the better of midfield counterpart Livermore today, then Swansea’s chances of attaining all three points will improve significantly.

He’s been a solid addition to the squad and can prove his worth with another strong showing against West Brom.