Talking Tactics | Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City
Football stats experts WhoScored.com take a look at the recent form of Marc Guehi, and why he can be a key figure when Swansea City face Queens Park Rangers on Boxing Day.
Swansea City got their promotion push back on track with a solid 2-0 win over Barnsley on Saturday as an early Jamal Lowe strike and a Victor Adeboyejo own goal saw the Swans move to within two points of second-placed Bournemouth.
Coming into Christmas in third place is a fine achievement for Steve Cooper's side, but there is no room for festive goodwill as they prepare to travel to the capital on Boxing Day.
The south Wales side take on QPR on Saturday as they look to build upon a run of three wins in their last five league matches. Swansea may have endured an inconsistent run on the road of late, but they take on a QPR outfit who have found the going tough home turf this term.
Indeed, the Rs have failed to win their last three home matches and have won only one of their last five at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
A seven-game winless run is the second longest current run of its kind in the Championship, and leaves QPR just four points above the drop zone. Mark Warburton's side have hardly lit up the division in the final third either, scoring just 19 times in 20 games this season, one of the poorer returns in England's second tier.
That comes as something of a surprise given their freescoring displays last season, and doesn't bode well against a Swansea side that has conceded fewer goals (12) than any other Championship side this season.
An 11th clean-sheet attaining performance over the weekend was made possible in part due to the fine showing by centre-back Marc Guehi. The young defender earned a WhoScored.com rating of 8.11 in Saturday's win over Barnsley, that was enough to make the WhoScored.com Championship team of the week, and was his best-rated performance for Swansea.
Boasting statistically calculated WhoScored.com strengths of 'ball interception' and 'tackling', Guehi has the means to build on the fine showing from Saturday to try and help the Swans to another shut out against QPR. The 20-year-old has previous against Warburton's side, too, with his fourth best-rated Championship performance coming in Swansea's 0-0 draw with QPR back in February, where he garnered a WhoScored.com rating of 7.61.
Considering QPR have scored just one goal in their last three home league matches, that a Robert Dickie strike in an eventual 2-1 defeat to Bristol City, Guehi will be setting out to keep the QPR offensive at bay and securing another clean sheet on Boxing Day.
The young Swansea star is likely to come up against Lyndon Dykes,
The Scotland international has netted five league goals in 18 appearances this season, two of which have been scored in west London. Dykes has scored just once in his last eight home league outings as QPR have struggled to take the chances they have created, or ensure regular service for their forward players..
It makes for a big test for the foward, particularly with Guehi coming into the tie on the back of a morale-boosting performance against Barnsley. If he repeats that sort of showing it will give the Swans every chance of adding another three points to their tally on Boxing Day..