TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Bournemouth
31st December 2016
Ahead of the Premier League meeting with Bournemouth at the Liberty, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview this afternoon's encounter.
The Swans will look to bounce back from the underwhelming 4-1 loss at the hands of West Ham last time out when they welcome Bournemouth to the Liberty Stadium.
The Cherries have struggled on their travels of late, losing three successive away Premier League games, with Swansea keen to return to winning ways in front of their own fans.
Swansea, who parted company with manager Bob Bradley in the week, have lost just one of their last five home league meetings with Bournemouth.
Much of the focus, then, will be on star man Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is once more expected to play a key role for the Swans. Only Fernando Llorente and Leroy Fer (both six) have scored more league goals than Sigurdsson (five) of all Swansea players, helping return a WhoScored.com rating of 7.15 - the second highest at the club.
Not only will the Icelander's goalscoring quality be required, but the creative side to his game is also essential, with Sigurdsson registering a further five assists this season.
All in all, Sigurdsson has had a direct hand in 47.6% of Swansea's Premier League goals this term, further magnifying his attacking influence.
Against a Bournemouth team that has developed a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weakness of 'stopping opponents from creating chances', Sigurdsson can once more exhibit the creative side to his game with the welcome of a Bournemouth outfit that struggles to limit opponents from forging goalscoring chances.
Conversely, Sigurdsson boasts a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'key passes' and is able to split open opposing defences in the blink of an eye, which is a boost against a Bournemouth side that has conceded 19 goals in nine away league games this season.
Furthermore, only Leicester, Sunderland and Crystal Palace have kept fewer clean sheets away from home than the Cherries (one) this term, with a lack of defensive solidity on the road cause for concern for Eddie Howe's side.
This further amplifies the importance of Harry Arter for Bournemouth this weekend.
The Republic of Ireland international has started all 18 Premier League games for the Cherries this campaign, with his tenacity in the middle of the park essential for Howe's team.
Provided Sigurdsson can shake Arter free, though, then the 27-year-old Swansea man can fire the south Wales side to a vital three points 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 officer Ben McAleer on Twitter.