TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Liverpool
1st October 2016
Ahead of the top-flight meeting with Liverpool, we have partnered up with football stat experts WhoScored.com to preview the encounter.
Swansea will be looking to bounce back from defeat to Manchester City when they host a Liverpool side that has struggled at the Liberty City Stadium in recent years.
While City maintained their 100% start to the league campaign at Swansea's expense, there were plenty of positives for Francesco Guidolin to draw from.
Swansea were bold in their approach, opting to take the game to Guardiola's side rather than sitting deep and remaining compact.
It's a ploy that yielded relative success. In fact, City gained their lowest WhoScored rating (7.09) in a league game since the opening weekend (6.75 vs Sunderland).
Swansea managed to hold City level for more than 50 minutes and it's a game plan they could adopt when they meet another high-energy pressing side like Liverpool on Saturday.
The Reds have only managed one win from their last five trips to the Liberty Stadium and Swansea's defence will be key to prolonging their good run against Jurgen Klopp's side.
Only City (18) have scored more goals in the Premier League this season than Liverpool (16) and concentration will be key to frustrating the likes of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino this weekend.
Tasked with dealing with Liverpool's trident is central defender Jordi Amat.
The 23-year-old has benefited from Ashley Williams' departure over the summer, having already started more games this season (6) than in the campaign before (5).
Amat has gained a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'tackling', which will put him in good stead on Saturday afternoon. The Spaniard will have his hands full when he comes toe-to-toe with Firmino but the Brazilian hasn't scored away from home in the league since April (vs Bournemouth) and Amat will be out to ensure his dry spell on the road continues this weekend.
Nevertheless, there is more to Firmino's game than scoring goals.
The 24-year-old is Liverpool's second-highest rated player, according to WhoScored.com (7.75), although he has developed a statistically-calculated weakness of 'offside awareness' and a high line could prove one way of frustrating the forward runs of Firmino and his team-mates.
Given a WhoScored.com strength of Swansea's is catching players offside, it's a tactic they're already well versed in and one they're capable of utilising next time out.
While Amat will have to be alert when defending, the Spanish defender will also have to be mindful when in possession. Firmino isn't your stereotypical centre forward and will work tirelessly to regain possession. He is not only the lead of Liverpool's attack but their first line of defence.
Only Kyle Naughton (7.26) has gained a higher WhoScored.com rating than Amat (6.84) for Swansea of all their defenders and if they can keep Liverpool at bay for long enough then it could provide the perfect platform to take something from this fixture.
Liverpool haven't kept a clean sheet all season and are susceptible to errors the back, which Swansea should look to take advantage of whenever possible.
It's going to be a tough fixture for the home side but one they will relish nonetheless.
Swansea have the means to dent Liverpool's early title hopes and Amat's performance will be a huge indicator to how they fare on Saturday.
*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.
READ MORE . . .
- VIDEO: At the training ground
- PAST MEETINGS: Swans v Liverpool
- VIDEO: Green Screen walk ups
- VIDEO: Francesco's press call