TALKING TACTICS: Bournemouth v Swans
18th March 2017
Ahead of the Premier League meeting with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview today's encounter.
A 2-1 reverse at Hull last time out was hardly the most appeasing of results for the Swans, but the encounter gave Paul Clement plenty of food for thought ahead of the trip to the south coast.
A late strike from young Alfie Mawson boosted spirits ahead of the match up with the Cherries, with the manner of the goal keeping with Clement's approach.
Indeed, only West Brom (16) have now scored more Premier League goals from set-piece situations than Swansea (13) this season to re-emphasise a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'attacking set-pieces'.
The 23-year-old has now scored four goals in 2017 - more than any other defender in Europe's top five leagues - with that matching a style of play of 'indirect set-piece threat' as he utilises his stature from free-kicks and corners to go for goal.
In fact, his good form has earned a WhoScored.com rating of 7.24 - the third highest of Premier League centre-backs to make five or more appearances this calendar year.
Having joined as a promising talent from Barnsley over the summer, Mawson is now a fully-established first-team regular under Clement, with his WhoScored.com rating this season (7.05) second only to Gylfi Sigurdsson (7.31) of all Swansea players.
His centre-back partnership with Federico Fernandez has been crucial to the club's move up the table on the back of Clement's appointment and it's no wonder the 44-year-old has routinely looked to the centre-back pairing to keep the backline in check.
Swansea have a better Premier League win ratio when Mawson starts (35.3%) than when he does not (18.2%) this season, with the club benefiting not only from Clement's direction, but the young centre-back's influence at the back.
With WhoScored.com's match forecast also suggesting that it is very likely Swansea 'will make a comeback if they go behind', Mawson could be vital considering his impact from set-piece situations.
Mawson will need to keep his wits about him if he is to prevent Swansea from conceding at the Vitality Stadium in the first place.
Bournemouth's 3-2 win over West Ham last weekend was made possible by Josh King, who bagged a hat-trick to take his total for the season to 11. What's more is that he has scored in each of the three occasions he has faced Swansea in the Premier League, with the Swans the Norwegian's joint-favourite opponents.
That being said, Mawson has proven his defensive credentials time and time again this season and has the means of keeping King at bay.
Should the Bournemouth striker find the back of the net, however, then the young Swansea man has what it takes to make an impact at the other end of the pitch to help the Swans to another crucial three points.
*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 officer Ben McAleer on Twitter.