Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Fulham
Swansea City return to league action on home turf as they seek to end a three-match winless run.
The Swans secured a creditable 1-1 draw at Huddersfield on Tuesday night, but the stalemate leaves them six points off the automatic promotion places.
Now up against a fellow promotion rival in Fulham, Steve Cooper is looking to mastermind victory against a side that has won their last three.
However, while the Cottagers come into the clash at the Liberty Stadium in good form, Scott Parker has only overseen three wins from eight away matches in 2019-20.
The west London side are among the lowest scoring teams on the road, too, having hit the back of the net just nine times on their travels and have drawn blanks in three of their away league games so far.
Swansea have the upper hand in the recent head-to-head clashes between the two sides having won five of the previous six league encounters, keeping a clean sheet in three of those games.
Another clean sheet attaining performance wouldn’t go amiss in tonight’s match up either as Freddie Woodman seeks another solid showing between the sticks.
The 22-year-old has been an astute loan signing having returned a WhoScored.com rating of 6.83 in the Championship this season. Only Bartosz Bialkowski (62) has made more saves than Woodman (56) in England’s second tier this term to reinforce the latter’s statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘shot stopping’ and is part of the reason why he has achieved such a commendable rating.
What’s more, his five clean sheets is the third best return in the Championship as he continues to live up to his potential for the Swans. He’ll be out to maintain his impressive performances in order to keep a Fulham side that has developed a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘finishing scoring chances’ at bay.
Indeed, for all their away goalscoring woes, Fulham remain one of the most prolific sides in the Championship having netted 29 times this season and, when they kick things up a notch, are able to put any opponent to the sword.
And it’s a familiar face, at least to Woodman, who’ll be out to fire Fulham to a fourth successive league win tonight. Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored more goals (13) than any other Championship player this season to reinforce a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘finishing’. The duo will be aware of one another’s qualities having been on the books at the same time during their respective stints with Newcastle, which adds a unique sub-plot to this encounter in south Wales.
Mitrovic’s goalscoring exploits means he has a better WhoScored.com rating (7.35) than any other Fulham player this season and if he can add to his 13 league goals already this term, then Swansea may find it tough to haul themselves back into this top-six meeting, particularly with Fulham boasting a strength of ‘protecting the lead’.
That said, in Woodman, Cooper has a shotstopper at his disposal who is more than capable of keeping the Serb striker quiet and, in doing so, going some way to ensuring Swansea get back to winning ways.