TALKING TACTICS: Manchester City v Swans
4th February 2017
Ahead of the Premier League meeting with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview this Sunday's encounter.
The Swans ground out a hard fought 2-1 win over Southampton in midweek to make it three wins from the last four top-flight games.
The vital three points means only Tottenham (11), Everton and Arsenal (both 10) have earned more Premier League points than Swansea (nine) in 2017 ahead of the upcoming round of fixtures.
While it will be difficult to add to that return against Manchester City, Swansea certainly have what it takes trouble Pep Guardiola's side.
A lack of defensive solidity has at times cost City this season. No team in the top seven have conceded more goals than them (28) in England's top tier this term, while five clean sheets in 23 Premier League games is a poor return for a team harbouring title aspirations.
Victory at Crystal Palace and Liverpool means Paul Clement's side have also won back-to-back away Premier League fixtures and they can certainly upset the odds away from home once more on Sunday.
It'll take a resolute performance to shut out City, which is why Federico Fernandez has such a key role to play for Swansea at the weekend.
The Argentine has gained a modest WhoScored.com rating of 6.88 from his 12 Premier League starts this season, with his experience and composure an asset for Swansea.
He's started every league match Clement has overseen and he's expected to feature from the off against City.
Having developed a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'passing', his willingness to play the ball out from the back and calmness when in possession boosts the team.
With Swansea's win percentage a respectable 41.7% with Fernandez compared to just 9.1% without him, the team evidently performs better when the 27-year-old starts, with the number of goals conceded per league game dropping by 0.72 when he features from the off in England's top tier this term.
His influence at the back will be crucial if they are to deny the attacking prowess of Gabriel Jesus.
A summer signing, the Brazilian youngster only linked up with City in the New Year having seen out the 2016 Brasileirao season with Palmeiras. He made his full league debut in midweek and impressed, scoring a goal and registering an assist to return a rating of 8.40, in the process earning a place in the WhoScored.com Premier League team of the week.
The teenage frontman could be rewarded with another start against Swansea at Sergio Aguero's expense and considering his performance against West Ham, Fernandez has a tough task on his hands to deny Jesus. That being said, the Swans defender has the necessary experience to keep the 19-year-old at bay and help Swansea to 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 officer Ben McAleer on Twitter.