TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Burnley
4th March 2017
Ahead of the Premier League meeting with Burnley at the Liberty, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview this afternoon's encounter.
The Swans have fared well in recent weeks in their pursuit to move up the table, with three wins from their last five.
The two defeats in that time came at Manchester City and Chelsea - two teams who harbour title ambitions and have impressed at home of late.
Back at the Liberty Stadium, the Swans boast the means to put another three points on the board at Burnley's expense.
Swansea overcame relegation rivals Leicester on their last league game in South Wales and, with back-to-back league wins against Southampton and the Foxes, should be confident of three successive victories on home turf.
The Swans secured a 1-0 win at Burnley's expense on the opening day of the season and have won five of their last six league meetings with the Clarets.
Sean Dyche's side have also faltered on their travels this term having taken just two points from a possible 36 away from home, though one of those two came on their most recent outing in a 1-1 draw with Hull.
Nevertheless, Swansea boast the attacking credentials to worsen Burnley's away day woes on Saturday, with the effective Fernando Llorente leading the line.
Llorente secured an impressive WhoScored.com rating of 7.51 on his Premier League debut against Burnley and headed in his ninth Premier League goal of the campaign in the 3-1 loss to leaders Chelsea last weekend, establishing himself as the club's joint top scorer in the process.
With six of his nine goals scored at home, it wouldn't be too great a shock to see him break the double goal barrier at the weekend.
Not only do Burnley boast the worst away record in England's top tier this term, but they have conceded 25 goals on their travels - an average of 2.08 per game - and no team has kept fewer away Premier League clean sheets than Dyche's team (one).
What's more is Burnley boast statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weaknesses of 'defending set pieces' and 'defending against attacks down the wings', which is how Swansea can best hurt their Premier League counterparts.
Given Llorente's stature and aerial dominance - his two statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strengths are 'aerial duels' and 'headed attempts' - if he can be picked out from set-pieces or attacks down the flanks, then he has the means to put the Burnley backline to the sword.
It only increases the pressure on centre-back pair Michael Keane and Bee Mee to keep the 32-year-old in check.
The duo place first (Keane - 7.10) and second (Mee - 7.07) as Burnley's top-rated players in the Premier League this season and while they have impressed this term, a lack of positive impact on their travels is hindering their chances on the road.
Mee, though, is Burnley's highest-rated player away from home (6.99) and his experience is crucial for the Clarets in their pursuit of a first away league win this term.
However, with Mee standing at just 5'11", it would be wise for Swansea to target the 27-year-old should they implement a direct approach.
In this instance, Llorente would be the player required to capitalise on the defender's shortcomings. If he can get the better of Mee, then Swansea have the means to inflict further damage upon Burnley and secure another vital victory in front of their own fans.
*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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