TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Manchester United
6th November 2016
Ahead of the Premier League meeting with Manchester United at the Liberty, we have teamed up with football stats experts WhoScored.com to preview Sunday afternoon's encounter.
Bob Bradley will look to secure a morale-boosting victory against Manchester United as they look to head into the international break on a high.
Swansea's Premier League counterparts faced a tough trip to Istanbul to face Fenerbahce on Thursday night and could well be affected by fatigue by the time Sunday's fixture rolls around.
Swansea also have a strong home record against United in recent seasons having lost just one of their last four league meetings at the Liberty Stadium and have secured victory in their last two in South Wales.
United, meanwhile, have struggled in England's top tier of late, having failed to win any of their last four outings and have scored just once in that run, with their goalscoring woes clear to see.
A 2-1 defeat in Turkey will also affect Jose Mourinho's preparations coming into the tie, with United faltering both in front of goal and in keeping teams out - they have kept just two clean sheets in their last seven league games as opponents find a way through the United backline.
It's enough to boost morale for Swansea ahead of the encounter and the Bradley's side can be confident of hitting the back of the net this weekend.
With that, Modou Barrow could be crucial for Bradley's team on Sunday.
The 24-year-old winger has established himself as a key player for Swansea this season - starting seven of 10 Premier League matches - and his speed and trickery against United is vital.
A willingness to create for others has also helped him establish a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'key passes'.
Indeed, Barrow has played more key passes (17) than any other Swansea player and if the 24-year-old can get on the ball in the final third, he can continue to exert this quality to his game.
Only Watford and Liverpool (both 13) have conceded more goals than United (12) in the top-flight's top eight ahead of the final round of fixtures before the international break and Barrow's attacking input should have a huge bearing on the result.
If, as expected, Barrow features from the right, Luke Shaw will likely be the man tasked with limiting the Gambian's influence.
Following a return from injury, the England international has six Premier League starts to his name this term, though churned out an underwhelming display on Thursday night, with a WhoScored.com rating of 6.16 the third lowest of all starting outfielders at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium. He clearly struggled against a Fenerbahce outfit that regularly attacked down their right (46%).
Shaw hasn't looked his best following his return to fitness and there is the possibility that Barrow will get the better of the left-back on Sunday. Should that be the case, it could play a key role in helping Swansea make it three consecutive home league wins against United.
*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 officer Ben McAleer on Twitter.
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