TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Chelsea
10th September 2016
Ahead of Chelsea's visit to the Liberty on Sunday (4pm), we have partnered up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview the meeting with the four-time Premier League champions.
The Swans fell to a 2-1 defeat to Leicester City last time out and will now look to return to winning ways when Chelsea make the trip from London to the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Blues in this fixture last season and back-to-back home wins against their Premier League adversaries is likely to boost morale following the international break.
Lukasz Fabianski played a key role in the aforementioned victory, earning a WhoScored.com rating of 7.30 from the encounter. His clean sheet was one of 23 he has kept during his time for Swansea - the fourth-best return since the start of the 2014/15 Premier League season.
While he was unable to prevent defeat at Leicester last time out, the Poland international was on hand to deny Riyad Mahrez from the penalty spot, which the Swans are hoping has a positive effect on the team ahead of Sunday's match up.
Despite conceding twice, his performance at the King Power Stadium yielded a WhoScored.com rating of 7.72, which has contributed to an average of 7.25 in the Premier League this season - only Tom Heaton (7.34) has gained better ratings of all goalkeepers in England's top tier this term.
Provided Fabianski can maintain his good early season form against Chelsea, then Swansea stand a much better chance of halting Chelsea's 100 per cent start to the campaign.
Given one of his statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strengths is 'saving long shots', Fabianski has the shotstopping ability to ensure he is not beaten from distance against Chelsea. With the Blues this season developing a strength of 'creating long shot opportunities', the Swansea goalkeeper may be called on more than once to ensure an effort from distance doesn't find a way past him.
However, it's from close range where the 31-year-old could be routinely required to keep the Chelsea attack at bay.
Diego Costa has started the season in fine fettle, with the Spaniard netting two goals and registering a further assist. Indeed, no player has been directly involved in more goals than Costa this term (three) ahead of the fourth round of top-flight fixtures.
The 27-year-old also has an impressive record against Swansea, having netted five goals in three meetings and the onus will once more be on Costa to provide the attacking firepower for the Blues.
While Antonio Conte's side have been far from their best this season, they have the personnel capable of putting any team to the sword on their day.
Conversely, Fabianski is a goalkeeper capable of frustrating even the most effective attack in the league. If he plays to his best when Chelsea make the trip to Wales, Francesco Guidolin's side have what it takes to secure a second successive home league win against the Blues.
*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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