TALKING TACTICS: Everton v Swans
19th November 2016
Ahead of the Premier League meeting with Everton at Goodison Park, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview this afternoon's encounter.
Swansea are keen to return to winning ways as quickly as possible and this meeting with the Toffees presents the ideal chance for Bob Bradley to secure his first league win as Swans boss.
Everton are on a poor run of form having won just one of their last six league outings following a strong start to the season. A 5-0 reverse at the hands of Chelsea prior to the international break hardly helped matters and the thumping defeat will have done no more than dent morale.
The south Wales side also secured victory on their last visit to Goodison Park, earning a 2-1 win, with that victory meaning Swansea are unbeaten in their last four league meetings with the Toffees.
Gylfi Sigurdsson netted the opening goal in that victory from the penalty spot and is set to play a key role for the Swans in their pursuit of all the spoils once more.
The Icelandic international has gained a modest WhoScored.com rating of 7.04 having been directly involved in 50% (two goals, three assists) of Swansea's Premier League goals this term.
All eyes will be on Sigurdsson once more as he looks to add to his impressive tally against Everton. Only against Chelsea and West Brom (4) has Sigurdsson scored more goals than he has meetings with Everton (3) and his impact in the final third is essential if Swansea are to come away from Merseyside with all three points.
It isn't just Sigurdsson's ability from open play that could make the difference against Everton either, with the Toffees gaining a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weakness of 'avoiding fouling in dangerous areas'.
Two of 27-year-old's four WhoScored.com strengths are 'direct free-kicks' and 'taking set-pieces' and it could well be that his influence from deadball situations is just as vital as his ability from open play at Goodison Park.
The man tasked with limiting Sigurdsson's influence, should he as expected break forward from midfield, is former Swans skipper Ashley Williams.
The Wales international departed Swansea for Everton over the summer on the back of superb Euro 2016 showing and has quickly become a vital member of the Toffees defence - starting nine of 11 Premier League matches under Ronald Koeman.
The forgettable defeat to Chelsea aside, Williams quickly adjusted to his new surroundings, gaining a WhoScored.com rating of 6.93. He is familiar with Sigurdsson's style of play, with the centre-back the ideal man to keep his former teammate in check.
Conversely, Sigurdsson is well aware of Williams' approach to defending and if he can better the Everton centre-back, Swansea's chances of victory increase significantly.
*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.
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