TALKING TACTICS: Arsenal v Swans
15th October 2016
With the international break now over, we have partnered up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview the Premier League meeting with Arsenal.
It's been a period of change for the Swans, who brought in Bob Bradley to replace the outgoing Francesco Guidolin during the domestic hiatus.
The American faces something of a baptism of fire against an in-form Arsenal side. The Gunners are on the longest current winning run in Europe's top five leagues (5 games) and haven't conceded a goal from open play in their last four Premier League matches.
However, Swansea have previous at the Emirates and are unbeaten in their last four Premier League visits to Arsenal - winning three.
The prospect of new manager bounce also comes into play against Arsene Wenger's side, who will hope to avoid slipping on a potential banana skin in north London.
Swansea must now hope for Fernando Llorente to make a full recovery from his recent injury to spearhead the Swans' attack.
The summer arrival missed the 2-1 loss to Liverpool last time out, but netted his first Premier League goal against Manchester City on his previous top-flight appearance. He'll look to make it two goals from two league appearances and perhaps the best chance of doing so is to maximise the striker's aerial quality.
Llorente's two statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strengths are 'headed attempts' and 'aerial duels', while Arsenal's only weakness happens to be the 31-year-old's latter strength.
WhoScored.com's match forecast also suggests it is likely that Swansea 'will dominate in the air' and crucial to this will be Llorente. His power in the air is enough to trouble any team and should Bradley implement a direct approach, the former Juventus and Sevilla man has a big role to play at the Emirates.
Arsenal are in fine form at present, but Swansea have the know-how to overcome the Gunners in the capital.
The man expected to be tasked with limiting Llorente's influence is summer arrival Shkodran Mustafi. The German centre-back has made an immediate impact for the Gunners, with his WhoScored.com rating (7.75) the second best of all Arsenal players this season.
In Mustafi's Premier League matches he's started, only Spurs (1) have conceded fewer goals than Arsenal (2), which further magnifies Llorente's importance.
If the striker can get the better of his defensive counterpart in the air, he can pose a significant threat to the Arsenal goal, either by testing Petr Cech himself or by using his physical stature to bring team-mates into play.
Provided Llorente can impose himself upon the fixture and routinely trouble the Arsenal defence, Bradley's reign as Swansea boss can kick off with a positive result.
*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 editorial assistant Ben McAleer on Twitter.