Talking Tactics: Leon Britton

14th October 2017
First team

Ahead of the welcome of Premier League debutants Huddersfield, football stats experts preview today’s encounter.

Swansea will look to home advantage to return to winning ways against the Terriers, who have faltered after their bright start to life in England’s top tier.

Only bottom-of-the-table Crystal Palace (7) are on a longer winless run than Huddersfield (5) in the Premier League this season and Swansea can inflict further damage upon David Wagner’s stuttering side here.

This afternoon’s fixture already has the makings of a huge game at this early stage of the season and three points for either side is of the utmost importance.

“We feel optimistic that our form is going to change,” Swans boss Paul Clement said this week in the build up to this important fixture, adding that his team needs to play the Swansea way.

With the onus in this instance on possession-based football, the best man for the job is captain Leon Britton.

The 35-year-old returned to the first team fold at West Ham prior to the international break following a spell on the sidelines and he’ll hope to maximise his statistically-calculated strength of ‘passing’ to deny Huddersfield at the Liberty Stadium.

If Swansea can retain possession successfully, then Hudderfield’s chances of hitting the back of the net lessens considerably, with Britton vital.

His pass success rate (96.6%) is the best of all Swansea players to make at least one league start this season, highlighting his exemplary ball retention qualities.

Boasting statistically-calculated strengths of ‘ball interception’ and ‘concentration’, Britton has the defensive attributes to keep Huddersfield at bay when they do not have the ball, but it’s pivotal Swansea have the experienced midfielder in possession in order to control the tempo of the game.

Indeed, midfield opponent Aaron Mooy would be the beneficiary when the Terriers are in control, with Britton’s role vital in the match in South Wales.

Mooy is Huddersfield’s third highest-rated player in the Premier League this season, with a rating of 7.29.

The 27-year-old has taken to the rigours of Premier League football like a duck to water and having played a part in Australia’s win over Syria in the World Cup qualifier over the international break, his confidence will be high upon the resumption of domestic duties.

Mooy is the driving force from midfield for Huddersfield and limiting his impact resonates throughout the side.

When he struggles, the team fails to match the standards expected of them, so keeping the ball away from the Australian is vital for Swansea.

In Britton, though, Paul Clement has the ideal player to keep the ball away from Mooy and help the Swans to a crucial win today.