TALKING TACTICS: Swans v Manchester United
21st February 2015
Continuing our partnership with football statistics website WhoScored.com, here is a preview of this afternoon's fixture with Manchester United at the Liberty.
Louis van Gaal brings his Manchester United team to the Liberty Stadium for the return fixture of Swansea's win at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season.
United are a formidable outfit, having now lost only one of their last 19 matches in all competitions while they are a tough team to break down.
Nonetheless, a Swansea team boosted by the return from suspension of Gylfi Sigurdsson will have hope of claiming a league double over the Red Devils. The 2-1 victory at United back in August was the Swans' second win in their last three matches against United.
United came from behind to beat Preston in the FA Cup earlier this week, while they claimed a last-gasp point against West Ham at Upton Park before seeing off Burnley in their last home game.
Aside from defender Kyle Bartley, the Swans have a fully-fit squad to choose from, and with Sigurdsson back in action they will be significantly strengthened. The Icelandic international is the Swans' third-highest rated player according to the WhoScored.com rating system - based on an algorithm comprising over 200 raw statistics and calculated live - with an impressive average of 7.19.
The team's top scorer in all competitions returns after a three-match suspension; in which time the Swans have experienced mixed results - a hugely impressive 1-0 win at Southampton before drawing with Sunderland and succumbing to a disappointing defeat at West Brom.
Sigurdsson, boasting as many as four statistically calculated strengths on WhoScored.com, is rated as 'strong' when it comes to through balls, key passes, direct free-kicks and taking set-pieces. Clearly a huge threat going forward, he will provide a serious test for the Manchester United backline.
The 25-year-old has scored in three of his last six appearances in Swans colours, so he will be hoping to lead Garry Monk's team to a third win in four 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 editor-in-chief @alitweedale on Twitter.