TALKING TACTICS: Aston Villa v Swans
24th October 2015
As the Swans gear up for Saturday's Barclays Premier League meeting with Aston Villa, we have linked up with football stats gurus WhoScored.com to preview the encounter.
A 1-0 defeat to Stoke City on Monday night was hardly ideal for Garry Monk's side and the aim now is to return to winning ways as soon as possible.
The trip to Villa Park is an opportunity to put three points on the board given the home side's woes of late. Only bottom club Sunderland (nine) are on a longer winless run of games than Villa (eight) in the Premier League this season, with pressure now on Tim Sherwood, whose position at Villa Park looks far from secure.
The English manager is understandably keen to pick up a victory in front of the loyal Villa support at a ground where form has been patchy to say the least. No team has lost more games at home than Villa (three) this season, while only Watford (one) have scored fewer goals in front of their fans than Sherwood's side (two) in the top flight this term. As such, Swansea are presented with a great chance to turn their fortunes around when they face Villa.
The man tasked with dragging the Swans out of their current rut is likely to be summer signing André Ayew. The Ghanaian has impressed upon his arrival from Marseille, gaining a respectable WhoScored.com rating of 7.11.
No player has netted more league goals for Swansea than Ayew (four) this term as he continues his seamless adjustment to the rigours of English football.
His ability to hold off the pressure of opposition defenders in the final third has helped quickly endear himself to the Swansea fans, with 'holding on to the ball' is a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of his.
One of Villa's WhoScored.com strengths happens to be 'stealing the ball from the opposition', so this quality in Ayew's repertoire - among others - will need to be on show at Villa Park.
He is not expected to be the only Ayew on display, however, with Sherwood opting to utilise André's brother Jordan last Saturday. They won't be the first brothers to face off in the Premier League, with the Neville's, the Touré's and the Ferdinand's among others to have played against another in the past.
Sherwood praised Jordan Ayew following Villa's 2-0 loss to Chelsea at the weekend, though he is yet to show his full potential. The 24-year-old's WhoScored.com rating (6.23) is the worst of all Villa players to start two or more league games this season. He is tough to stop once he gains a head of steam having gained a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'dribbling', so the Swans defence will have to be wary of his threat.
Swansea may have underwhelmed away from home this term, but given Villa's disappointing form the Swans could secure victory in the Midlands, having done so in each of their last three meetings with the Villans.
*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.