TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Liverpool
30th 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.
The Swans will be keen to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat at the hands of Champions elect Leicester City and hinder Liverpool's chances of a European finish this season.
Back on home turf, this is a very real possibility given Swansea's form in front of their fans of late. Francesco Guidolin's side have lost just one of their last six league fixtures at the Liberty Stadium, winning the last three and keeping clean sheets in each of those three victories.
Indeed, the welcome of Liverpool presents them with the ideal chance to return to winning ways and in the process put another three points on the board.
The Reds have won only two of their last seven away competitive outings and a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Villarreal on Thursday night will have dented morale ahead of the tough trip to south Wales.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is likely to have one eye on the return Europa League leg with the La Liga outfit next week, so he could name a weakened side for the meeting with Swansea, which could swing the ties in the hosts' favour on Sunday.
Guidolin may well call on Jefferson Montero from the off against Liverpool, after utilising the wing-wizard from the bench at Leicester at the weekend.
Given the circumstances, Montero's WhoScored.com rating against Leicester (6.30) was somewhat commendable, while his home rating this season (6.90) is one of the better returns of all Swansea players this season.
The 26-year-old is averaging more dribbles per game (1.9) than any other player for the Swans, reinforcing his statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'dribbling'.
Furthermore, Swansea tend to perform better with Montero featuring from the off having won 33.3% of the 12 league games the attacker started compared to 26.1% of the 23 outings he has not.
Indeed, with Liverpool gaining a weakness of 'defending against attacks down the wings', Montero could capitalise on the fragility down the Reds' flanks, particularly should Klopp call on his fringe players at the back.
With the Merseysiders also conceding a disappointing 24 goals from 17 away league games this season, their defensive frailties could well be exploited against Swansea.
Montero may be key to this coming to fruition, particularly if he is up against young Connor Randall. The 20-year-old is in line to make only his third Premier League start of his career in place of regular right-back Nathaniel Clyne.
After a solid debut at Bournemouth, Randall churned out an underwhelming display at Newcastle's expense last weekend as the Reds sacrificed a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.
Up against Montero, Randall could struggle, particularly once the Ecuadorian gains a head of steam.
If he starts, chances are Guidolin will demand Montero attack the young full-back as frequently as possible and should he routinely get the better of Randall, Swansea stand a much stronger chance of making it four successive home wins.
*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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