Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Leeds United
Football stats experts WhoScored identify midfielder Jay Fulton as a key man in Swansea City's Championship fixture against leaders Leeds United on Sunday at the Liberty (1.30pm)
Results very much went in Swansea City’s favour in midweek. Coupled with their 3-1 win at Birmimgham, Cardiff fell to defeat at the hands of Blackburn and it leaves the Swans just one point and one place off the play-offs going into the weekend's round of games.
However, Steve Cooper and his players have a tough test to navigate over the weekend. They welcome title-chasing Leeds to the Liberty Stadium in a bid to keep their play-off hopes alive.
The Championship leaders romped to a 5-0 win over lowly Stoke on Thursday night to continue their march towards the Premier League and it'll take a big effort from the Swans to keep Leeds at bay.
Swansea, though, can at least call upon home advantage in their bid to better Leeds. Indeed, the Swans are unbeaten in their last three home meetings with the Yorkshire powerhouse, winning two, and secured a late 1-0 win over the Whites in the reverse fixture.
It was a victory Jay Fulton played a huge role in, earning a WhoScored.com rating of 7.08, and the 26-year-old will be key again in this clash.
Leeds have scored the joint-most away goals in the Championship this season with 33, so Fulton's work off the ball will be crucial in Swansea's bid to deny Leeds the chance to add to that return.
Boasting statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strengths of 'ball interception' and 'tackling', Fulton has the means to minimise Leeds' attacking impact. Fulton ranks first for tackles per 90 of all Swansea players in the Championship this season, and given one of Leeds' styles of play is 'opponents play aggressively against them', the midfielder is aware he will need to operate tirelessly out of possession to limit Marcelo Bielsa's side in the final third.
Alongside captain Matt Grimes in the middle of the park, the pair have the defensive nous help keep the Swansea defence shielded, with Fulton the ball winner in this duo that will aid Swansea's quest to secure another vital win in the race for a play-off finish.
With creative dynamo Pablo Hernandez set to return to the starting XI having only featured from the bench against Stoke on Thursday, Fulton will very much have his hands full in his efforts to stop the former Swans star.
In his 45 minutes of action, Hernandez chipped in with a goal and an assist against Stoke, and boasting statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strengths of 'key passes' and 'finishing', the Spanish international has an eye for prying apart a defence and going for goal himself.
However, if Fulton can keep the 35-year-old quiet in south Wales, then Swansea's chances of another victory increases significantly.