TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Arsenal
14th January 2017
Ahead of the Premier League meeting with Arsenal at the Liberty, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview this afternoon's encounter.
The Swans secured a hard-fought three points at Crystal Palace in their last Premier League fixture and they will be keen to follow that up with a victory at Arsenal's expense on Saturday.
Swansea have won three of their last five Premier League meetings with the Gunners and with recently appointed head coach Paul Clement in the dugout for the first time at the Liberty, the players will hope to put on a positive show for the new man at the helm.
Clement could well call on youngster Alfie Mawson to help at the back once more after the centre-back played a key role in the 2-1 win at Selhurst Park.
The 22-year-old opened the scoring in the victory in south London to help gain a WhoScored.com rating of 8.38, which was enough to earn the man of the match award.
The Jack Army must now hope he can follow that showing up with another strong outing against the Gunners.
Arsenal's form has dipped of late, with just two wins to their name from their last five league fixtures, which has seen them drop eight points behind league leaders Chelsea.
The Gunners have developed a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weakness of 'protecting the lead', with the visitors prone to conceding having gone ahead.
Here, Swansea can capitalise having developed a strength of 'coming back from losing positions' and with their potency from set-piece situations an added bonus.
A return of eight goals from these scenarios is a commendable return and, if need be, Mawson could prove to be the difference maker in the final third if required, particularly with one of his styles of play currently 'indirect set-piece threat'.
Conversely, his strength in the air is a boost for the Swans, with the 22-year-old gaining a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'aerial duels'.
Mawson can be expected to showcase this trait against the Gunners, with Olivier Giroud set to spearhead the attack for Arsenal once again.
After struggling for first team minutes, the Frenchman has started Arsenal's last four competitive fixtures and has impressed.
Four goals and two assists has contributed to a WhoScored.com rating of 8.00 across his last four starts and Swansea must be wary of Giroud adding to his recent tally.
Provided Mawson can limit the 30-year-old's influence in the final third, however, then Arsenal's in-form frontman may struggle to have an impact on the game as Swansea strive to put another three points on the board at the Gunners' expense.
*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.
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