TALKING TACTICS: Sunderland v Swansea City
22nd August 2015
Ahead of the weekend's Premier League meeting with table footers Sunderland, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview the encounter.
The Swans have made a strong start to the season, taking four points from a possible six against Chelsea and Newcastle United.
Next up for Garry Monk's side is a trip to the Stadium of Light with spirits high as they gear up to face Sunderland.
The Black Cats are currently bottom of the Premier League having lost their opening two games of the campaign to Leicester and Norwich and have conceded more goals (7) than any other team so far this season.
The pressure is on Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat to turn their fortunes around after a stuttering start to the campaign, but that will be easier said than done against Swansea on Saturday.
Monk's side will be confident of maintaining their unbeaten start to the campaign against their Premier League rivals when they travel to Wearside.
One of those expected to continue his blistering form is wideman Jefferson Montero. The arrival of Andre Ayew hinted that Montero's playing time may drop, but the Ecuador international has instead laid down the foundations for a bright campaign, impressing against both Chelsea and Newcastle on the left flank in the opening two weeks of the season.
Branislav Ivanovic and Daryl Janmaat both struggled to contain Montero for their respective teams, highlighted in that the 25-year-old's WhoScored.com rating (8.04) is the best of all Swansea players and ranks among the top ten players in England's top tier. His performance against Newcastle earned him a place in WhoScored.com's Premier League team of the week.
Montero looks set to come up against right-back Billy Jones on Saturday. Jones is currently Sunderland's third-lowest rated player having gained a lowly WhoScored.com rating of 6.03 this season.
If Montero replicates his early season form when Swansea face Sunderland, the 28-year-old may struggle to contain the Swans star once he gains a head of steam as is handed the opportunity to exhibit his statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'dribbling'.
Sunderland, though, have found themselves a wing wizard in the form of summer arrival Jeremain Lens.
The Dutchman served under current boss Advocaat during their respective time at PSV Eindhoven, so the Black Cats boss knows how to bring out the best in the 27-year-old winger. Advocaat will now be hoping Lens can build on a promising start to life in England in order to help Sunderland climb up the table.
Much of the focus though will be on Montero after his electrifying start to the season. Bafetimbi Gomis and Ayew have received their fair share of plaudits and deservedly so, but it's Montero who is expected to provide the best route to goal when Swansea meet Sunderland on Saturday.
*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.
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