Talking Tactics: Bersant Celina
Football stats experts WhoScored.com take a closer look at the attributes of Swansea City's Bersant Celina as Graham Potter's men look to make it five wins from six when they face Ipswich at Portman Road this afternoon (3pm).
With just four wins to their name in the Championship this season, it’s sadly comes as no surprise that Ipswich Town's proud record of spending every season since 1957 in the top two tiers is coming to an end.
Despite the best efforts of Paul Lambert, the Tractor Boys have struggled for results both home and away and Swansea need to exploit their dire fortunes to put another three points on the board.
The Swans will be keen to exact revenge upon Ipswich today after falling to a 3-2 loss in the reverse fixture. However, Swansea are unbeaten in their last three visits to Portman Road, which includes a 3-1 win the last time these two met in Ipswich.
Only Bolton (16) have won fewer home points than Ipswich (17) in England’s second tier this term and having lost eight of 21 home league matches, Swansea need to take advantage and inflict further misery upon Lambert’s side.
While a play-off push may be very much an outside shot now, Graham Potter will demand his side end the season strongly.
Ipswich are on the longest current home winless run in the Championship having failed to win their last seven league outings at Portman Road and Swansea have more than enough quality about them to prolong that streak today and end their long wait for a win on their travels.
Central to their efforts will be creative star Bersant Celina, who is set to return to the first team fold having overcome illness that saw him miss Friday’s meeting with Rotherham.
The 22-year-old has registered more Championship assists (6) than any other Swansea player this season and ranks top for key passes per 90 minutes (2.2) and successful dribbles per game (1.8) of all players for the south Wales side.
It’s his vision and directness on the ball that could be central to their efforts on this away day in their pursuit of all three points against his former club.
Indeed, Celina has developed statistically calculated WhoScored.com strengths of ‘dribbling’ and ‘key passes’ and both traits will be key to unlocking an Ipswich defence that has conceded the third most goals (68) in the Championship this season.
Celina won the WhoScored.com man of the match award in Swansea’s recent 3-1 win over Middlesbrough having registered two assists in the comfortable victory, and a similar attacking display this afternoon would surely help the Swans to victory.
Celina’s inclusion would result in a tough afternoon for the experienced Cole Skuse, who is set to marshal the defence for Ipswich.
The 33-year-old ranks highly for interceptions per game (1.4) among all Ipswich players to reinforce a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘ball interception’. By cutting the lines between the midfield and attack, Skuse has what it takes to shut down Swansea’s attacks before they pose too much of a threat.
However, Celina has proven his worth time and time again and if one channel closes, you can bet the youngster will find a way to open another. A fourth man-of-the-match display of the season could be on the cards for the Kosovo international, which could help Swansea secure another three points.