Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Coventry City

5th March 2022
First team
Cyrus Christie Talking Tactics

Swansea City return home this weekend as they look to build on a record of three wins from their last four at the Stadium.

The Swans defeated Coventry in the reverse fixture and they'll be looking to extend their fine record over the Sky Blues on Saturday.

Ahead of this one, preview the action, looking at what to expect from Coventry, the key battle on home turf and a key stat.

What to expect from Coventry

Mark Robins manager of Coventry City

Coventry are enjoying a fruitful second season back in the Championship. The Sky Blues head into the weekend's round of games 10th in the table, and a run of 10 points from the last 15 means they still have a chance of making the play-offs.

They may sit in mid-table, but they are only three points off sixth-placed Luton ahead of their trip to Swansea.

As with a number of teams in England's second tier, Mark Robins favours a three-man backline and that is expected to continue at the Stadium this weekend.

The system sees Viktor Gyökeres lead the charge, and Swans supporters are well versed in the Swede after he spent a short time on loan in SA1 last term.

A key man for Coventry, Gyökeres has scored more goals (12) than any other Sky Blues player, and it has seen the 23-year-old return a better rating (7.02) than any player in their squad.

That said, like Coventry, Gyökeres has endured his troubles on the road this term. A late strike at Bristol City last month ended a 10-game run without a goal, so cutting off the supply for Coventry's main man is key.

Indeed, the Sky Blues rank third for key passes per game (10.2) in the Championship this season to reinforce a statistically calculated strength of 'creating scoring chances'. The benefit for Robins and his Coventry side are that these chances are created by a number of attacking outlets.

Callum O'Hare and Todd Kane rank joint-first for key passes per game (1.9) of all Coventry players, while Ian Maatsen (1.1) ranks among the top five players, with the latter duo operating at right and left wing-back, respectively.

Only Luton (43% of attacks) have attacked more down the right than Coventry (41%) in the Championship this season, so locking down that flank will be of the utmost importance for Swansea.

Key battle

West Brom away Cyrus Christie cele

Cyrus Christie has quickly established himself as a key man for Russell Martin's side and is currently Swansea's highest-rated player with a rating of 6.91.

Christie scored his second league goal for the Swans in their 2-0 win at West Brom on Monday, but it's on home turf where the 29-year-old has performed to the best of his ability.

In his four league appearances at the Stadium, Christie has won the man of the match award twice, those coming in his last two home outings, so he is going for a hat-trick this weekend.

While he has been operating largely on the right following his move to Swansea, Christie impressed from the left in the Midlands, so the same is expected of the January arrival this weekend.

However, he'll also need to work hard to contain Kane down the Coventry right. One of Coventry's statistically calculated styles of play is 'attacking down the right', but after playing his part in Monday's clean sheet win at the Hawthorns, Christie look to be up to the task of keeping Kane and company at bay.

Key stat

Darren Pratley Coventry cele

Swansea are certainly a bogey team for Coventry. It was Martin's side that ended the Sky Blues' unbeaten home start to the season, returning back to south Wales with all three points with a 2-1 win in early November. Since then, Coventry haven't been quite the same on home turf.

That victory extended Swansea's unbeaten streak against Coventry to 12 games, with the Swans winning six of those.

Indeed, Coventry haven't beaten Swansea in any competition since a 3-1 win over the Welsh outfit back in October 1981.

A points per game record of 1.85 is Swansea's best against any opponent they have faced 10 or more times in their history, which certainly bodes well for Saturday's game.