Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Nottingham Forest

22nd January 2021
First team
Ryan Manning Talking Tactics

Football stats experts take a look at the form of Swansea City's Ryan Manning, and consider the impact he can make in this weekend's FA Cup clash with Nottingham Forest.

After Tuesday's Championship meeting with Blackburn was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch at Ewood Park, Swansea City now look to their FA Cup meeting with divisional rivals Nottingham Forest this weekend.

The Swans booked their spot in the fourth round of the competition with a solid win at Stevenage earlier this month, and that victory, coupled with the 2-0 win at Barnsley over the weekend, means Swansea come into the tie with Forest on a six-match unbeaten run, winning five.

With a testing encounter with promotion rivals Brentford looming, Steve Cooper is expected to rotate some of his squad for the welcome of Chris Hughton's side, and we could see the likes of Ryan Manning, Wayne Routledge and Joel Latibeaudiere feature at the Liberty Stadium. It's the former who could play a key role against Forest this weekend as Swansea seek to set up a fifth-round meeting with either Cheltenham or Manchester City.

Manning played the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 win at Stevenage and put in a solid shift from left wing-back, earning a rating of 7.96; only man of the match Freddie Woodman (8.22) came away from the victory with higher. Having deputised well for Jake Bidwell, the 24-year-old has another opportunity to give Cooper food for thought in the selection stakes.

Indeed, the welcome of Forest is the ideal game for Manning to again showcase his attacking talents against a side where his strengths can be maximised. One of Swansea's four statistically calculated strengths is 'attacking down the wings' with 80% of their attacks coming down the right (42%) or left flank (38%).

This plays into Swansea's hands, with one of Nottingham Forest's weaknesses happening to be 'defending against attacks down the wings' and it's a chink in their armour that Manning can exploit. The Republic or Ireland international boasts statistically calculated strengths of 'crossing' and 'key passes', two key qualities any wing-back needs at their disposal, and he'll be out to maximise these weapons in his arsenal to help the Swans book a place in the next round of the FA Cup.

Forest boast one of the worst away goal differences in the Championship this season, which highlights both their struggle to convert chances on the road and to keep opponents at bay. 

In-form Swansea will back themselves given their strong home form and Manning has the talent to provide an assist or score himself in a meeting with this Forest side, where his best qualities have the potential to help Swansea overcome Hughton's side.