TALKING TACTICS: Leicester City v Swans
27th August 2016
Ahead of Saturday's trip to defending champions Leicester City, we have partnered up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview the encounter.
The Swans will be keen to bounce back from the disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Hull last time out and head into the international break on a high note.
However, they face the defending champions as they seek a return to winning ways in the Premier League.
Leicester have started their title defence poorly, but remain capable of putting any defence to the sword on their day.
This proved to be the case when Leicester overcame Swansea 4-0 at the King Power Stadium at the end of April, though differing circumstances means a different outcome is wholly possible.
The Swans have also only lost three of their last ten Premier League outings and have the ability to prolong the Foxes' poor start to the season.
For a team that scored the third most goals (68) in England's top tier last term, Claudio Ranieri's side have netted just once this season and that was from the penalty spot in a 2-1 loss at Hull on the opening day of the campaign.
Key to shutting out the Foxes on Saturday will be right-back Kyle Naughton, who has started both of Swansea's league games this season.
The defender is the club's highest-rated player with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.84. A total of ten tackles by the 27-year-old is one of the better returns in the Premier League so far this season and highlights the defender's statistically-calculated WhoScored.com style of play of 'likes to tackle'.
While a defender should only be forced into make a tackle as a last resort, Naughton's ability to limit the opposition on his side of the pitch is a plus point for manager Francesco Guidolin.
Moreover, the right-back's offensive output is a further bonus for the Italian boss. With Naughton prepared to push forward and offer another dimension to the Swansea attack, he is able to help stretch the defence and provide width for the Swans in the final third.
Indeed, Leicester have developed a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weakness of 'defending against attacks down the wings' and if Naughton can find space between the Leicester widemen and full-backs in Ranieri's favoured 4-4-2 formation, he could effectively hinder the Foxes' chances of victory.
Conversely, he will need to be on top of his game defensively if he is counter the attacking threat of Marc Albrighton.
After sitting out the 2-1 defeat at Hull for Demarai Gray, Albrighton was recalled to the Leicester XI and churned out a solid showing on the left flank against Arsenal.
Ranieri may again opt to use the English winger against Swansea and given his form for the Foxes last season, is a handful on his day.
However, with Naughton starting the season strongly, he should be able to keep Albrighton quiet, which limits Leicester's offensive influence and increases Swansea's chances of a positive result.
*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 assistant Ben McAleer on Twitter.
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