Talking Tactics | Burnley v Swansea City
Swansea City are seeking to make it six wins from their last seven this weekend, but they face a daunting trip to Turf Moor. Ahead of this one, WhoScored.com preview Saturday's meeting with Burnley as they look at what to expect from the Clarets, the key battle, and a key stat.
What to expect from Burnley
After their relegation from the Premier League last season, Burnley sought a change in tack having relieved Michael Jackson of his duties as caretaker boss at the end of 2021-22. Jackson had replaced Sean Dyche at the Turf Moor helm and despite the former's best efforts, he was unable to keep the Clarets in the top tier.
Now under the watchful eye of Vincent Kompany, Burnley play a very different style of football. While previously the Clarets saw little of the ball and played direct, Burnley now have the most possession (65.9%) and the second best pass success rate (84.4%) in the division, the latter metric topped by the Swans (84.5%). Therefore, we should see an entertaining game between two sides who implement a similar, possession-based approach.
Kompany has overseen a solid start to life at Turf Moor and Burnley come into the weekend's action in fourth, one point above Swansea. They have lost just one of their opening 13 league games, but the struggle to turn one point into three remains.
Only West Brom (8) have drawn more games than Burnley (7) in the Championship this season, and once Kompany and his Clarets find the winning formula, they'll be well placed to launch a sustained push for promotion.
While a number of Championship sides prefer a three-man backline, Kompany has favoured a four-man defence, using either a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3, with Josh Cullen, who the Burnley boss used to good effect during their respective time together at Anderlecht, tasked with dictating the tempo.
Cullen won the trust of Kompany, so it's no surprise to see the 26-year-old used in a similar role for the Championship side, which explains why Burnley are able to dominate opponents.
As such, Burnley don't rely so much on individual quality to hurt teams, but rather maximise the collective to go for goal. The use of Cullen and former Swansea man Jack Cork at the base of the midfield, though, grants Josh Brownhill the chance to pry opposition defences apart, something he does to a good standard, with a return of two key passes per game ranking second for Burnley.
However, this relies on Burnley enjoying the larger share of possession, which Swansea won't allow given their similar style of play, so it will be interesting to see how Kompany and his side reacts here.
Harry Darling played a vital role in Swansea's 2-1 win over Sunderland last week, impressing at the heart of the three-man backline as he scored what proved to be the winning goal in a man of the match performance. Darling returned a WhoScored.com rating of 7.86, marking his best rated league showing this season, but the youngster will be up against it at Turf Moor.
Only Bristol City (22) and Sheffield United (21) have scored more goals than Burnley (20) in the Championship this season, with Jay Rodriguez scoring five of those. Rodriguez has been directly involved in a league goal in four of his five home appearances this season and has been leading the charge well for the Clarets.
Today's game will mark the first time Burnley and Swansea face off at this level since 2011, a game that the Clarets won. However, in terms of recent meetings between the pair, Swansea have the upper hand. Indeed, the Swans have won five of the last six encounters, the only blip a 2-0 loss at Turf Moor back in 2017.