TALKING TACTICS: Norwich City v Swans
7th November 2015
Ahead of the top-flight meeting with Premier League newboys Norwich City, we have partnered up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview the encounter.
The Swans make the trip to Carrow Road hoping to put a 3-0 home defeat to one of the title favourites Arsenal behind them and return to winning ways at the Canaries' expense.
They will be buoyed by Norwich's recent poor form, with Alex Neil's side currently on a four-match losing streak - only Aston Villa (7) are on a longer run in the Premier League at present.
Norwich have only won one of their five home games following their return to England's top tier and have scored just six goals in that time - one of the worst returns this season.
As such, a clean sheet is wholeheartedly possible and will be vital if Swansea are to come away with maximum points for the second time in as many away games of late.
Crucial to that coming to fruition will be Federico Fernandez, who has emerged as a key player at the heart of the defence alongside Ashley Williams following his arrival from Napoli in 2014. His style of play suits Swansea to a tee, with Garry Monk preferring his defenders to play the ball out from the back, instigating attacks from defence.
Swansea have developed statistically-calculated WhoScored.com styles of play of 'possession football' and 'short passes', further highlighting how Monk demands his side play, with the south Wales outfit opting to keep the ball on the deck rather than pump the ball long for striker Bafe Gomis.
This suits Fernandez, who has gained a WhoScored.com strength of 'passing', with the Argentina international favouring a more measured approach to playing the ball out of defence rather than lumping the ball upfield.
This reinforces his composure at the back and ability to remain calm and collected when under pressure, which will be a benefit to Swansea when they travel to Norwich, particularly up against summer arrival Dieumerci Mbokani. The Democratic Republic of Congo international has two goals to his name from his five Premier League appearances since signing from Dynamo Kyiv and has the goalscoring ability and knack to trouble the Swansea backline.
However, one of Swansea's strengths is 'protecting the lead', so should the Swans take the initiative, they have the capability to hold out for all three points.
With another of Fernandez's strengths being 'concentration', the centre-back has the quality to stifle Mbokani.
Given Swansea are unbeaten in their last three league meetings with Norwich - including a 3-0 win over the Canaries last time the two teams came up against one another - the 26-year-old has a big part to play on Saturday at Carrow Road.
*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.