Talking tactics: Jefferson Montero

28th November 2018

Football stats experts focus on Jefferson Montero ahead of Swansea City's clash with West Bromwich Albion.

It was a weekend to forget for the Swans as they fell to a 4-1 loss to league leaders Norwich.

But West Brom's visit means a perfect opportunity to bounce back and thrust themselves back into the race for a top-six finish.

The Swans have a positive home record against West Brom that they’ll be keen on maintaining.

Indeed, the Swans have won five of their last six home league meetings with the Midlands side, scoring 11 times in that run.

Albion won’t be mere pushovers at the Liberty Stadium, however. Darren Moore’s side sit five points above their hosts in tonight’s clash and victory in South Wales would see them move closer to the automatic promotion spots.

Following a four-match winless run, Moore’s side look to be back on track in the wake of back-to-back league victories, yet while their home form is impressive - West Brom have won 19 points on their own patch this season, one of the best records in the Championship - their away record is questionable.

Inconsistency has plagued the Baggies on their travels this term, with Moore overseeing just three wins from nine away matches.

Graham Potter will hope to keep that figure down as the Swans look to respond to defeat by Norwich.

To their credit, the Swans have followed up two recent defeats with immediate wins, bouncing back impressively with victories over Blackburn and Bolton on the back of respective losses to Aston Villa and Rotherham.

It could that a sparingly used wideman plays a crucial role tonight, with Jefferson Montero hoping to return having missed the Norwich game.

The 29-year-old has struggled with injuries this term, but has proved his worth in times of need.

Despite registering just 136 minutes of league action this season, Montero has provided a handful of assists.

His ability to stretch defences could prove vital against West Brom. One of his two statistically calculated strengths is ‘dribbling’ - he is in fact deemed very strong, and for good reason too.

Montero is averaging more successful dribbles per 90 (6.6) than any other Swansea player, but he isn’t a winger who runs with the ball for the sake of it.

At times, wingers who are able to beat an opponent with the ball lack a decent end product, yet Montero has the delivery to put any team to the sword.

Montero’s other statistically calculated strength happens to be ‘key passes’ with the speedster chipping in with six key passes per 90, that again more than any any other Swansea player.

Against a West Brom side that has developed a weakness of ‘stopping opponents from creating chances’, Montero could be just the player Potter needs to land another three points tonight at West Brom’s expense.

That being said, Montero won’t find a meeting with West Brom to be walk in the park.

Youngster Tosin Adarabioyo has impressed since joining on loan from Manchester City, with Moore’s side slightly stronger defensively with the 21-year-old starting.

The Baggies’ goals conceded per league game average drops marginally with Adarabioyo starting at back (1.38) than when he doesn’t (1.5).

The City youngster also boasts a strength of ‘tackling’, so isn’t afraid to go to any lengths to keep opposing attackers from encroaching upon the West Brom box.

However, after a period on the sidelines and a spell looking to prove his worth, Montero will be hungry to make a mark.

If he can chip in with a big performance, then Swans fans can look forward to an immediate return to winning ways following defeat.