Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Luton Town
Football stats experts WhoScored identify striker Rhian Brewster as a key man in Swansea City's Championship fixture against Luton Town at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon (12.30pm).
Well, Swansea City certainly returned to action with a bang, didn’t they?
A 3-0 win at Middlesbrough is exactly the response Steve Cooper will have demanded last weekend, and having struck the woodwork three times to go with the three goals in the opening 45 minutes, it easily could have been a super six-goal performance.
However, they need to continue to look forward and take that momentum into the next match. Today's lunchtime welcome of Luton is another opportunity to earn consecutive vital victories in the push for the play-offs as the Swans return to the Liberty Stadium.
They won the reverse fixture at Kenilworth Road, edging out a 1-0 win courtesy of Andre Ayew's late strike, and the Ghanaian is expected to be vital when the Hatters travel to south Wales.
Top scorer Ayew put in a key shift at the Riverside on Saturday, with his WhoScored.com rating (8.76) enough to make the first Championship team of the week post-lockdown.
Ayew, though, was pipped to the man-of-the-match award by Rhian Brewster, who maintained his good away form with a brace at Middlesbrough.
Brewster has now scored five goals in his last five away league outings and Cooper is hoping the 20-year-old can transfer his flying form on the road to home surroundings.
Brewster also made the WhoScored.com team-of-the-week with a rating of 8.79, that his best in a Swansea shirt since his January arrival, and he's set to lead the line against a Luton side that has shipped more away goals (44) than any other Championship side this season. The Hatters have also earned fewer away points (10) than any other side in England's second tier this term.
Considering his scoring quality, we expect Brewster to add to his six league goals against a Luton side that has developed a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weakness of 'stopping opponents from creating chances'.
Given 64 per cent of the shots Luton have faced have come through the middle, and 63 per cent of the shot zones against them have come inside the 18-yard box, this benefits Brewster as the central striker.
Five of the six league goals he has scored for the Swans have come inside the penalty area, so if those in support of Brewster can create the opportunities on home turf, then Swansea have what it takes to up the number of league goals they have scored this season considerably and put another three points on the board.
And it may be that Swansea come up against a familiar face when they face Luton today.
Cameron Carter-Vickers spent a season on loan with the Swans last year and joined the Hatters on a short-term stint back in January. Given his form since joining at the turn of the year, the 22-year-old is set to start at the back for Nathan Jones' side today.
Carter-Vickers is currently Luton's best-rated player with a WhoScored.com rating of 6.96 and he was their top performer in the 1-1 draw with Preston last weekend, where he earned a WhoScored.com rating of 7.72. While plenty has changed since Carter-Vickers' stint in south Wales, he can call upon his experience of playing for Swansea to guide Luton to a positive result in their bid to move off the foot of the table.
A run of one defeat in six suggests this isn't a game Swansea are to take lightly, yet with Brewster making an immediate impact post-lockdown, the young striker has the means to fire the Swans to victory today.