TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Leicester
5th December 2015
Ahead of Swansea City's Premier League meeting with Leicester City, the official website has teamed up with football stats website WhoScored.com to preview the encounter.
The Swans churned out an impressive showing against Liverpool last Sunday and will have been buoyed by the display in a fixture they were unfortunate to lose. Ultimately, a James Milner penalty was all that separated the two teams at Anfield, but confidence should be on the rise in the camp ahead of Saturday's game against the Foxes at the Liberty.
Back on home turf, Swansea will now look for another solid performance in their bid to deny an in-form Leicester. Claudio Ranieri's side sits second in the Premier League following a stunning start to the season. No team has lost fewer games than Leicester (1), who are behind Manchester City in the table only on goal difference alone.
However, the Foxes have lost their last three league meetings with the Swans away from home, failing to score in any of them. While Ranieri has at his disposal the Premier League's most prolific frontman in Jamie Vardy (14 goals), those behind him deserve recognition and if you cut off the supply to the England international, the goals could dry up. A crucial part to this plan could be Kyle Naughton, who was one of those to come away from the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool with real credit.
His WhoScored.com rating (7.68) was the best of all Swansea players and the fourth best in the fixture. His defensive showing rightly drew the plaudits at Anfield and he will hope to prolong his good form against Leicester. Naughton has established himself a first team regular since signing for Swansea back in January and his consistency in defence is one of his best assets.
The versatile full-back has gained a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'passing', with his ball retention qualities complementing the needs of his manager sufficiently as his average of 55.8 passes per game suggests. As such, Naughton is capable of playing the ball out from defence, matching the club's statistically calculated WhoScored.com style of play of 'short passes'.
This means Swansea refrain from needlessly thumping the ball long for the attackers, which given Ranieri can call on Wes Morgan and Robert Huth at centre-back, is a bonus for the south Wales outfit. However, Naughton will need to keep his wits about him in order to ensure he is not caught out by this impressive Leicester attack.
Naughton can be expected to come up against compatriot Marc Albrighton, who has been one of Leicester's better performers having played a key role in securing their place in the Premier League last season. While Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have earned the adulation of their peers, Albrighton has quietly gone about his business, earning a WhoScored.com rating of 7.17. Leicester have gained a strength of 'attacking down the wings', and Naughton must remain vigilant in order to limit his the winger's influence when he does push forward with the ball.
The English full-back has gained a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'tackling' and this needs to be on show on Saturday. If Naughton plays to his potential, Swansea stand a much stronger chance of shutting out Leicester and picking up a positive result.
*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.