TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Chelsea
9th April 2016
Ahead of today's game against Chelsea, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview the Premier League encounter.
Swansea showed commendable spirit last weekend to come from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Stoke City, and they will need to show similar fight against Chelsea.
The Blues are on a 15-match unbeaten run in the Premier League - the longest streak of its kind this season - with confidence high that they can prolong this run at the Liberty Stadium.
The current crop of players will be keen to prove their worth to recently-appointed manager Antonio Conte, with the Italian taking over the reins upon the culmination of Euro 2016.
While Chelsea have a good record against Swansea in South Wales, the task at hand will be easier to navigate than looks on paper.
The Swans have lost just one of their last five home games and have won three of them.
Indeed, if Swansea play to the standards they are capable of, they have the chance to inflict just Guus Hiddink's second Premier League defeat over his two stints as Chelsea boss.
The Swans need to control the midfield battle, however, if they are to secure all the spoils, with former Blues trainee Jack Cork set to play another influential role.
Cork has gained a WhoScored.com rating of 7.01 this season - a return bettered only by Ashley Williams (7.23) of all Swansea players. However, he has really stepped his form up of late, with his WhoScored.com rating since the beginning of March (7.57) the best of every player for the Swans and he's shown no signs that his performance levels will dip anytime soon.
He needs to maintain his recent good form if he is to keep the Chelsea midfield at bay, particularly following the Blues' suffocating display at Aston Villa last Saturday.
However, Cork has the mental capacity to ensure he is not overawed at the task at hand and having developed a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'concentration', the 26-year-old knows to keep his wits about him over the 90 minutes.
It's this quality of his game that needs to be on show if he is to counter the creative threat of Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard has returned to his best form in 2016 following a hugely disappointing start to the campaign. Fabregas is once again pulling the strings from the middle of the park as one of Chelsea's creative hubs.
If Cork, though, can limit the Spaniard's influence, Chelsea will have a much tougher time of leaving the Liberty Stadium with a positive result, in the process improving Swansea's chances of victory.
*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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