TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Hull City
20th August 2016
Ahead of this afternoon's welcome of Hull City, we have partnered up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview the encounter.
The Swans kicked off their Premier League campaign with a battling 1-0 win at promoted Burnley meaning they have now lost only two of their last nine league fixtures.
They'll look to continue that good form against another side who returned to the Premier League this summer - Hull City - who go into the fixture with their tails high following an opening day 2-1 win over defending champions Leicester.
However, they could well be brought back down to earth on Saturday afternoon when the make the trip to South Wales.
Swansea are unbeaten on their last three home league meetings with Hull, including a 3-1 win over the Tigers when the two teams last met at the Liberty Stadium in the Premier League.
The star performer from the win over Burnley was undoubtedly Leroy Fer. The Dutchman's second half goal late on proved to be the difference between one point and three. His rating of 8.58 was the third highest from the opening round of fixtures and was enough to earn a place in the WhoScored.com Premier League team of the week.
The defensive solidity Fer provides in the middle of the park is a boost to Swansea, while his willingness to break forward and support the frontmen means he provides a further dimension to the attack. This was evident against Burnley as he ghosted into the box to tap past Tom Heaton after the goalkeeper parried Fernando Llorente's header into the path of the onrushing midfielder.
A similar showing against Hull on Saturday will undoubtedly open up space in the final third to capitalise on, especially as the Tigers - despite securing victory - still allowed Leicester 18 shots on goal over the 90 minutes, which was the second most at the weekend.
Should Fer churn out another strong showing on Saturday, Swansea's chances of a second league win in as many games this season increases significantly.
The Dutchman, though, will have his work cut out when he faces off against Sam Clucas in the middle of the park. While a winger by trade, Clucas was deployed in a central role against Leicester, and he gained a respectable WhoScored.com rating of 7.28 on his Premier League debut.
The 25-year-old recently penned a new contract at the KCOM Stadium and didn't look overawed or out of place against the Premier League champions.
If he can follow up his display against Leicester with another strong showing then Swansea will find it harder to break Hull down in pursuit of victory.
Fer, though, has the ability to ensure Clucas' influence is minimal and go for goal himself.
Indeed, he has a vital role to play against Hull this weekend.
*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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