Talking Tactics | Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City
Football stats experts WhoScored.com take a closer look at the form of Andre Ayew and consider the impact he can make in Swansea City's Championship clash at Blackburn Rovers.
Swansea have made a habit of leaving things until late recently. While it leaves Steve Cooper sweating on the likelihood of victory, the Swans have picked up wins over Stoke and Middlesbrough, courtesy of 96th and 97th minute penalties, respectively.
Grinding out all three points in back-to-back matches has moved the south Wales side up into third, after Brentford did not play at the weekend, and they now sit just a point behind Watford in second, albeit with two games in hand over the Hornets.
They play one of those in midweek when they make the trip to Blackburn. The encounter was postponed back in January due to a waterlogged pitch and it is imperative Swansea make the most of this opportunity to move back into second.
Blackburn haven't been in great form of late, and a dip in fortunes has seen them drop down to 15th, but they at least ended a seven-game winless run with a 2-0 victory at Millwall over the weekend and, in snapping that streak, morale around Ewood Park will have been boosted.
That said, a run of one win in six at home will leave the injury-hit hosts hoping to improve their showings at Ewood Park if they are to end the season in the top half of the table.
At this stage, a play-off finish is unlikely, while sat 11 points above they relegation zone, Rovers are not expected to be dragged into a dogfight, but the hosts will know a run of results - like those put together by the likes of Cardiff and Barnsley - can quickly alter the picture.
But Swansea, boasting one of the best away records in the league, will be desperate to make the most of the opportunity to put points on the board while their rivals can only watch on.
And, while everyone was holding their breath in the dying embers of the wins over Stoke and Boro, one man who held his nerve was Andre Ayew.
His ice-cold demeanour has helped him to 13 league goals for the season, and four in his last three league outings. The Swans are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Blackburn, winning two, and will want to keep that run going.
Given one of Rovers' statistically calculated WhoScored.com weaknesses is 'stopping opponents from creating chances', if the Swansea stars can create the opportunities for Ayew, then the Ghana skipper has the goalscoring capability of adding to his commendable goal return for the campaign.
Considering one of Ayew's four WhoScored.com strengths is 'finishing', Blackburn would be foolish to allow the 31-year-old the chance to go for goal at Ewood Park, particularly while he is enjoying a purple patch.
Not only has Ayew been in good goalscoring form of late, but man-of-the-match performances against Bristol City and Middlesbrough have taken him to seven WhoScored.com star men awards in the 2020/21 Championship season, that the fourth best return in the division.
Blackburn centre-back Darragh Lenihan has his work cut out if he is to stop Ayew from adding to his goal tally this term. The 26-year-old has been a solid performer at the heart of the Rovers backline in 2020/21, as evidenced in his WhoScored.com rating of 6.95.
Lenihan played in the reverse fixture, a 2-0 loss at the Liberty Stadium and, despite ending up on the losing side, put in a solid shift for Tony Mowbray's side. However, he has unable to deny Ayew from scoring in that game.
Three of Ayew's four best-rated performances in the Championship this season have come away from home, which is a promising sign for Swansea as they look to leapfrog Watford in the table and maintain their bid for automatic promotion.
Having kept his cool in recent outings, fans know their vice-captain is a player who relishes the responsibility of big moments in important games.