Talking Tactics | Fulham v Swansea City
Football stats experts WhoScored identify winger Jordon Garrick as a key man in Swansea City's Championship clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Securing all three points at Fulham tonight will take a monumental effort from Swansea City.
The Cottagers are currently third in the Championship, just five points off the automatic promotion places, though a run of just two wins in their last six has seen them drop off the pace of late.
A three-match winless run has seen them lose ground in their push to finish in the top two and has allowed Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Preston to move to within one point of the west London side.
Swansea are among those looking to close the gap between themselves and the top six and a 3-1 win over Huddersfield on Saturday was the morale boost required as we enter the business end of the campaign.
Victory ended a five-match winless run and it's of the utmost importance they follow up the win over Huddersfield with another three points tonight at Craven Cottage. History is on Swansea's side having won their last three visits to Fulham while Steve Cooper's side have come away with all the spoils on three of their four league trips to London this season.
It took until the final 10 minutes for Swansea to make home advantage count when they welcomed Huddersfield to the Liberty Stadium last weekend, but late goals from Andre Ayew and Jordon Garrick ensured the Terriers left South Wales empty handed.
The latter's strike marked his second league goal in as many appearances for Cooper's side and while the 21-year-old's six outings have all come from the bench, totalling 97 minutes of league action this season, the super sub is living up to his billing at present.
Indeed, no Championship player has come off the bench to score more goals than Garrick (two) in 2020 and Cooper and Swansea will be hoping he can continue this trait in the capital.
Fulham have been far from solid defensively on home turf in recent weeks having kept just two clean sheets in their last seven and conceded three times at home to lowly Barnsley earlier this month, a Tykes outfit that had scored just 12 away league goals this term prior to their headline-grabbing 3-0 win.
If Swansea can replicate that performance tonight, then their sub-par away run of form will draw to a close at Fulham, with Cooper able to throw players into the mix at just the right time to turn a game in Swansea's favour.
Only West Brom (13) and Cardiff (12) have had subs score more goals than Swansea (nine) in the Championship this season, with Garrick among those shining from the bench in England's second tier this term.
And with Fulham developing a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weakness of 'Stopping opponents from creating chances', if Swansea can play right until the death, their chances of netting a late goal rises significantly, which would benefit the fresh legs of Garrick.
Nine of the 37 goals Fulham have conceded this season have come from the 75th minute onwards, so teams that face the Cottagers should be confident of netting as the minutes tick towards the 90, which should prove a boost for those introduced later on in games.
Garrick, then, should be eyeing up a third league goal in as many appearances tonight with Swansea's star impact player overcoming his hamstring issues to great effect.