Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Fulham

8th March 2022
First team
Michael Obafemi Talking Tactics

Swansea City will look to follow up their 3-1 victory over Coventry at the weekend when league leaders Fulham make the trip to the Stadium tonight.

The Swans have won four of their last five in south Wales, so come into the welcome of the Cottagers in good form.

Ahead of the clash, preview the encounter, looking at what to expect from Fulham, the key battle and a key stat.

What to expect from Fulham

Marco Silva

Well, fans can expect goals, goals and more goals from this fantastic Fulham side. The Cottagers have failed to score in just three of their 34 matches.

Marco Silva has the west London outfit playing excellent attacking football that has helped them soar to the summit of England's second tier.

Ahead of Tuesday's game, Fulham sit 11 points clear of second-placed Huddersfield, with two games in hand, and 12 clear of the play-off places, albeit having played two more games than Bournemouth in third.

Silva has stuck religiously to the 4-2-3-1 setup that has served Fulham well up to this stage of the season and the Portuguese will see no reason to tinker with that setup.

The irrepressible Aleksandar Mitrovic leads the line and Silva's tactics allows the Serb to run rampant in the final third. Indeed, Mitrovic is already the record goalscorer in a single Championship campaign having netted 34 goals this season.

That there are still 12 games to play in 2021-22 means it wouldn't be a shock to see Mitrovic tear up the history books before the season draws to a close.

Harry Wilson and Neeskens Kebano provide the width from the right and the left respectively, and are additional goal outlets down the flanks.

Both have nine goals to their names this season, while Wilson's 11 assists is second only to John Swift (13) in the Championship. Fabio Carvalho, meanwhile, completes Fulham's scalpel-sharp attacking quartet.

The teenager was linked with a move to Liverpool in January, and he'll be keen to prove once more why one of the Premier League's title contenders is monitoring his development.

The attack is allowed to work their magic courtesy of the solid midfield base of Harrison Reed and Jean Michael Seri. The pair have chipped in with respective averages of 1.2 and 1.5 tackles per game in the Championship this season, so it's easier said than done trying to get the better of the pair to be in with a chance of going for the Fulham goal.

It's part of the reason why only West Brom (8.2) are conceding fewer shots per game than Fulham (8.7) in the Championship this season, and that no team has conceded fewer goals than Silva's side (29), so when the Swans do get their chances to score, they need to take them.

Key battle

Coventry Home Obafemi

Michael Obafemi rattled in goals number four and five for the season in Swansea's 3-1 win over Coventry on Saturday afternoon, and his performance yielded a rating of 8.73, that enough to make the Championship team of the week.

Of those five league goals scored this season, four have come since the start of February, that the fifth-best return of any player in the second tier in that time, with Obafemi seemingly finding his feet having struggled for minutes and consistency following his arrival from Southampton last summer.

Swans fans will be hopeful the youngster can reinforce a statistically calculated strength of 'finishing' against a Fulham backline that has conceded the joint-fewest goals in England's second tier.

Much of that has been down to the performances of Tosin Adarabioyo. The 24-year-old's rating of 7.14 is among the best of Championship centre-backs this term, but Adarabioyo will be up against it when he comes up against Obafemi tonight.

Key stat

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Fulham are far and away the top scorers in the Championship this season. They have scored at least 32 more goals (84) than any other team, with Mitrovic scoring 40.5% of those.

The Serb has more goals to his name than Hull (30), Barnsley and Peterborough (both 24), and just three fewer than the Swans.

The division's best-rated player with a rating of 7.87, Mitrovic has also developed a knack for scoring against the Swans.

Indeed, against only Preston (6) has he scored more competitive goals than Swansea (5) in his career, including a first half hat-trick in the reverse fixture.

He boasts a statistically calculated strength of 'finishing', so minimising the chances for Mitrovic in midweek is of the utmost importance.