Talking Tactics | Brighton v Swansea City

22nd September 2021
First team
Olivier Ntcham Talking Tactics

After coming from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Luton on Saturday, Swansea will seek to use the confidence gained from that thrilling comeback to get the better of Brighton in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Ahead of this tie, preview the action, including what to expect from the Seagulls, a look at a key battle and key stat.

What to expect from Brighton

After a couple of years of Premier League consolidation, Brighton have made an impressive start to the 2021-22 campaign. Victory over Leicester on Sunday means the Seagulls have accrued 12 points after the opening five matches of the season.

This comes, too, after the big money departure of Ben White for Arsenal, with Shane Duffy stepping in to bridge the gap in defence with aplomb, a renaissance few expected after his tough stint with Celtic last term.

Former Swans boss Graham Potter is working wonders at the Amex and deserves immense credit for the work he has carried out with the Seagulls, remaining loyal to a three-man defence that sees them come into Wednesday's Carabao Cup meeting fourth in the Premier League.

However, Potter can be expected to make changes to his preferred XI for the cup tie, not only in personnel, but in shape, too. He used a four-man backline in the win at Cardiff in the last round and may do so again here, though a more experienced set of stars are likely to take to the field for the south-coast side. 

Key battle

Russell Martin and Olivier Ntcham

Having been 3-0 down at the break at Luton on Saturday, Russell Martin made an inspired change to rescue a point at Kenilworth Road in the Championship's game of the weekend.

Summer arrival Olivier Ntcham was superb off the bench for the Swans as he had a direct hand in two of Swansea's three goals in the 3-3 draw, following up his assist for Jamie Paterson's strike with a goal of his own to halve the deficit four minutes from time.

The 25-year-old yielded a rating of 8.27 in the draw, that not only the joint-best rated sub appearance in a Championship match this season, but enough to earn a spot in the team of the week too.

As such, the Frenchman may be rewarded with a start in midfield for Martin's side at the Amex with the aim to spring a Carabao Cup upset and claim a Premier League scalp.

Another summer signing in a Brighton shirt will aim to use this Carabao Cup tie as a chance to force himself into Potter's first-team plans. Enock Mwepu was an eye-catching arrival from Austrian side Salzburg, yet has struggled to make an impact for his new side given Brighton's fine start to the season and Potter's understandable reluctance to tinker too much with a winning formula.

Nevertheless, Mwepu seized his opportunity in the win at Cardiff, returning a rating of 7.81, although admittedly that was from the right-back position.

However, with right-back Tariq Lamptey in line to make his first appearance since December in midweek, Mwepu can be expected to be pushed back into midfield in what will make for an intriguing battle between himself and Ntcham.

Key stat

Graham Potter

As mentioned, Brighton have picked up 12 points from their opening five league games this season, with the only defeat coming at the hands of Everton.

Nevertheless, it speaks volumes of Brighton's excellent start to 2021-22 that it took them 14 games to put a dozen points on the board last term.

Potter already had a settled system at Brighton, but now his side have the wind in their sails after a 2-1 win over Europa League outfit Leicester on Sunday.