Talking Tactics | Peterborough United v Swansea City

16th March 2022
First team
Jamie Paterson Talking Tactics

Swansea City will have been frustrated not to have earned a result at Blackpool at the weekend, but they will have their sights firmly set on bouncing back when they take on Peterborough this week.

Here, preview Wednesday's game, looking at what to expect from the Posh, the key battle and a key stat.

What to expect from Peterborough

Grant McCann

Following his return to the Peterborough helm, Grant McCann has largely stuck with a three-man backline, though the system hasn't delivered the desired results.

Indeed, McCann oversaw three successive defeats to kick off his second reign as Posh boss, however the results have improved of late with Peterborough holding both Bournemouth and Stoke to draws in their last two games.

Striker Jonson Clarke-Harris ended an eight-game goalless run in the league with a brace against the Potters at the weekend, and his confidence will be sky high following his man-of-the- match showing.

Having scored more goals (7) than any other Peterborough player in the Championship this season, he'll be the danger man the Swans need to be wary of at the Weston Homes Stadium.

One of the two goals Clarke-Harris scored against Stoke was assisted by January arrival Jeando Fuchs, who ranks second for key passes per game (0.9) of all current Peterborough players.

A rating of 6.83 is better than any Posh player in England's second tier this term, and he has proven a solid addition to the Peterborough squad after signing from Dundee United.

While a central midfielder by trade, Fuchs has been operating in the number 10 role in Peterborough's last two games and to good effect, and with his first assist on the board fans will hope he can add to that against the Swans this week.

However, it's not just Fuchs' work on the ball that has caught the eye, but also a willingness to get stuck in. The Frenchman ranks first for tackles per game (3.6) for Peterborough and he is able to utilise the creative side to his game due to the work of Oliver Norburn and Jack Taylor in support.

The pair have formed a solid midfield partnership with Norburn (1.6) and Taylor (1.4) ranking second and third, respectively, for interceptions per game of all Peterborough players.

With the wing-backs not attacking as frequently as others in the division, this means there is now greater onus on Fuchs to pry apart opposition defences, but if his performance against Stoke is anything to go by, then it's a role he'll thrive in.

Key battle

Jamie Paterson against Fulham

Jamie Paterson returned to the Swansea side in February and is doing his best to help the Swans finish as high up the table as possible. The attacking star netted his ninth goal of the season against Coventry earlier this month, and provided the assist for Joel Piroe's consolation in the defeat to Fulham.

That means Paterson has directly contributed to 15 of Swansea's 38 league goals (39.5%) this season, while four of his six assists have now been for Piroe to score, that the fifth best assist-to-goalscorer combination in the division at the time of writing.

Peterborough have developed a statistically calculated weakness of 'Stopping opponents from creating chances' and this plays into Paterson and Swansea's hands.

One of Paterson's strengths is 'key passes' and, currently averaging more key passes per game (1.4) than any other Swansea player in the Championship this season, the 30-year-old will be tasked with prying Peterborough apart.

That said, in Oliver Norburn, Grant McCann is able to call upon a ball winner to aid his side in trying to keep Paterson and the Swans offensive at bay.

Norburn ranks second for tackles (2.7) and interceptions per game (1.6) for the Posh to reinforce strengths of 'tackling' and 'ball interception'.

If Peterborough are to come away with a result in midweek, then Norburn will need to exhibit both qualities to his game to keep Paterson in check.

Key stat

Weston Homes Stadium London Road

Peterborough come into the midweek fixture bottom of the Championship having collected just 23 points from their 36 games. Currently mired on a 14-game winless run, it is the longest streak of its kind in the Championship this season.

Only Reading (73) have conceded more goals than the Posh (72) this season, while only the Royals (15.2) are conceding more shots per game than McCann's side (14.8).

As Swansea seek to get back to winning ways, they will hope to ensure those trends continue.