Talking tactics: Bersant Celina

10th November 2018
First team

Football stats experts focus on Bersant Celina ahead of Swansea City's Championship clash with Bolton Wanderers this afternoon (3pm).

Swansea City’s two-match winning run was brought to an abrupt end in controversial fashion last weekend at Rotherham.

The Swans must quickly dust themselves down and look to secure all three points in today’s visit to Bolton Wanderers.

The Trotters are sinking towards the relegation zone and believes the form of a summer arrival at the Liberty could inflict further misery upon a downtrodden Bolton side.

Bolton’s six-match winless run is the longest current streak of its kind in the Championship and has seen them drop to 20th, just one point above the relegation zone.

On home turf they have flattered to deceive, with only Ipswich (six) earning fewer home points than Bolton (seven) in England’s second tier this term.

Their record of 12 home goals is one of the worst in the league, while Phil Parkinson’s side have scored fewer home goals (five) than any other Championship team this season.

Against a Swans side who have conceded just six away league goals this term - only Middlesbrough have shipped fewer - Bolton could be in for a long afternoon in front of their own fans.

Bersant Celina will hope to add to their woes today, with the 22-year-old set to play an influential role from midfield at the University of Bolton Stadium.

Only centre-back pair Joe Rodon (7.18) and Mike van der Hoorn (7.14) have gained better ratings than Celina (7.12) of all Swansea players this season, with the Kosovan impressing in his debut campaign in South Wales.

Indeed, at the time of writing, only Sheffield United’s Oliver Norwood (40) has made more key passes than Celina (37) in the Championship this season, reinforcing a statistically calculated strength of ‘key passes’.

He may only have one league assist to his name this term, but once his Swans team-mates discover their shooting boots, that number will undoubtedly rise.

With the ability to prise apart a defence at the drop of a hat, Celina has the vision to split backlines and the quality to execute passes that will create goalscoring chances.

With his two goals this season scored in his last five appearances, Celina is beginning to show his knack for hitting the back of the net and it’s coming at just the right time as Swansea seek to head into the international break with a third win in their last four.

If he is able to work the space required to exploit his creative and goalscoring talent, Bolton could be made to pay.

All this only increases the pressure on battling central midfielder Joe Williams, who ranks high for tackles per game (2.4) and interceptions per game (1.7) of all Bolton players, reinforcing statistically calculated strengths of ‘tackling’ and ‘ball interception’.

The 21-year-old isn’t one to shirk his defensive responsibilities and has a knack of being in the right place at the right time. He’ll need to show those qualities in order to limit Celina’s impact.

However, as the young Swans star continues to shine in the middle of the park, that may prove easier said than done.