Talking Tactics | Leeds United v Swansea City
The Championship fixtures are coming thick and fast with the festive period on the horizon and Swansea City are in action once again as they travel to face Leeds United on Wednesday (7:45pm).
Ahead of the trip to Yorkshire, WhoScored.com preview the clash, looking at what to expect from Leeds, the key battle and a key stat.
What to expect from Leeds
Daniel Farke’s Leeds United entered this round of fixtures occupying third spot in the Championship, seven points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
They come into this fixture on the back of four wins, one draw and one defeat in their last six Championship outings.
The Whites thought they had snatched all three points against Rotherham last time out when Jaidon Anthony found the net late on, but the goal was ruled out for offside and Leeds were forced to settle for a point on the road.
Leeds’ form at Elland Road has been impeccable and they are the only side in the division yet to be beaten at home, with five wins and three draws in front of their home crowd. They boast a goal difference of +9 at home, a total which can only be bettered by Ipswich and Watford (+10).
Farke’s side also have the second strongest defence in the league having conceded only 17 goals this term, with only Leicester conceding fewer, and have kept six clean sheets from their opening 17 fixtures.
With a WhoScored.com rating of 6.77, Leeds are also the second-highest rated team in the Championship behind only Leicester (6.87).
Farke has opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation most frequently in the league this season, with a front four of; Dan James (7.13), Joel Piroe (7.01) and Crysencio Summerville (7.77) behind Georginio Rutter (7.38). The four attacking players are in fact Leed’s four highest-rated players this season, and have scored 20 goals between them so far.
The WhoScored.com match forecast suggests it is very likely that Leeds will stray offside often, and that shouldn't come as a surprise. The Whites rank third for the most offsides per game in the Championship, misjudging the line 2.5 times per game on average whilst Swansea rank 12th with an average of 1.8 per game.
Interestingly, Swansea have provoked the second-highest amount of offsides in the league, catching opponents out 46 times already this season.
Despite the frequency of offsides, Leeds boast a plethora of attacking talent and a strikeforce which has scored the fifth-most goals in the Championship this season (28).
Summerville and Piroe have contributed a combined 23 goals with Summerville, the Whites’ top scorer, having found the back of the net on seven occasions and provided five assists, while former Swan Piroe has scored three and set up six.
Summerville has been the stand out performer for Leeds this season, winning a total of six man-of-the-match awards already, a total no other player in the league can better.
The Dutch winger comes into this fixture in red hot form with five goals and three assists in his last six fixtures, and the Swansea defence will be doing their utmost to keep the Leeds forward quiet.
That responsibility is likely to fall on Swansea’s highest rated - and available - defender, Harry Darling, who with a WhoScored.com rating of 6.81 is also Swansea’s fifth highest-rated player this season.
The 24-year-old has won one player of the match award this season, for his efforts in the defeat at West Brom in August, and has demonstrated his defensive prowess throughout the campaign, leading the rankings amongst Swansea players for blocks and ranking third for clearances with 2.6 per game.
Leeds have created more big chances (39) than any other side in the Championship this season and only Sunderland (16.4) and Ipswich (17.1) are averaging more shots per game than Leeds (16.2).
Swansea will have their work cut out to keep the Leeds attack quiet on Wednesday evening, but they had no problem doing so when these sides last met at Elland Road, with the Swans recording a 1-0 victory at back in 2019.