Talking Tactics | Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City

18th January 2021
First team
Freddie Woodman Talking Tactics

Football stats experts take a close look at the excellent recent form of Freddie Woodman, and the key role he can play in Swansea City's Championship clash with Blackburn Rovers.

Swansea City kept the pressure on league leaders Norwich with a solid 2-0 win at Barnsley on Saturday night to extend their unbeaten run to five league matches. With Bournemouth falling to defeat, the Swans have some breathing space between themselves and the play-off places.

Steve Cooper's side can't afford to get complacent, however, and with a tough trip to Blackburn looming they will be desperate to keep this run going to maintain a promotion push. Rovers have not had an easy time of things of late, with head coach Tony Mowbray overseeing a run of just one win in their last five.

At Ewood Park, though, they remain a difficult side to beat having lost just one of their last eight home league outings, that coming against Championship leaders Norwich.

Blackburn aren't in the best of form right now but Mowbray's side are the highest scorers in the league, netting 39 times this season and, in Adam Armstrong, boast the division's joint-top goalscorer.

Granted, Armstrong has scored just twice in his last nine league outings, but no player has scored more goals than the 23-year-old (16) in the Championship this season.

With that in mind it will be key for Freddie Woodman and the Swansea defence to keep the Blackburn attack at bay. The 23-year-old has again been exceptional between the sticks in 2020-21, keeping more clean sheets (14) than any other goalkeeper in the Championship this season.

Blackburn may boast the Championship's best attack, but Swansea have conceded fewer goals (13) than any other team this season, and have shipped just three goals in their last nine. Woodman has been vital to that fine defensive resolve with the on-loan shotstopper boasting the third best save success rate (75.4%) in the Championship this season.

Woodman has previous at Ewood Park, too, having saved a penalty in the game there last season, one of three penalty stops in Championship action since the start of 2019-20, to reinforce a statistically calculated strength of 'penalty saving'.

And, after putting in his fourth best-rated performance of 2020-21 at the weekend, earning a rating of 7.21 at Oakwell, Woodman will be looking to build upon that solid showing to help Swansea maintain their unbeaten run and move to within a point of league leaders Norwich, who aren't in action until Wednesday.

Armstrong, of course, will be the man tasked with firing past Woodman. Even for his recent lack of goals, the former Newcastle man has still scored 10 goals in 11 home outings this season, more than any other player to back up a strength of 'finishing'.

A home rating of 7.54 is second only to Emiliano Buendia (7.61) in the Championship this term but, if any goalkeeper can keep Armstrong at bay, then it is Woodman.

The Swansea shotstopper earned a rating of 7.32 when these two teams met back in October and he and Swansea will be looking to add yet another clean sheet to their record at Ewood Park on Tuesday night as well as, more importantly, another three points.