Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Peterborough United

30th October 2021
First team
Olivier Ntcham Talking Tactics

After the disappointment of losing at Birmingham, Swansea return home with a desire to get back to winning ways.

The Swans are unbeaten in their last five at the Stadium, winning three on the trot, as they welcome Peterborough to south Wales.

Here, preview the game, looking at what to expect from the Posh, the key battle and a key stat ahead of Saturday's clash.

What to expect from Peterborough

Darren Ferguson

Having been promoted from League One last season, finishing second to Hull in England's third tier, Peterborough have found the going tough in the Championship.

However, if neutral fans are looking for entertainment, then Posh games are the ones to watch. Their games have seen 43 league goals scored this season, the fourth highest return in the division.

Both teams have scored in half of Peterborough's league games in 2021-22 as they seek to strike the right balance between defence and attack.

Indeed, their 16 goals scored is a fairly handy return for a newly-promoted side, but they have conceded more goals (27) than any other team in the division. As one might expect, all five weaknesses focus on defending, while their main strength is 'finishing scoring chances'.

Manager Darren Ferguson favours a three-man backline and, for recent wins over Hull and QPR, he has opted for a 3-4-3 setup. After back-to-back victories, there is nothing to suggest Ferguson will elect to move away from the system.

Instead, expect just a couple of changes - if any - to personnel. Top scorer Sikiri Dembele will lead the charge for Posh having doubled his season total over the last two gameweeks, with the 25-year-old flanked by Sammie Szmodics and Jorge Grant.

Going forward, they have been solid with their 16 league goals a testament to this. On top of that, a conversion rate of 13% is the sixth best in England's second tier, so in the final third, things are clicking for Peterborough, but it's the issues in defence that are impacting their chances of consolidating a Championship spot.

However, with Peterborough putting together a string of results of late to move away from the drop zone, they will post a threat to the Swans as the hosts look to continue a largely encouraging recent run.

Key battle

Olivier Ntcham West Brom home

Adding to Peterborough's defensive difficulties is crucial if Swansea are to get back to winning ways following last week's disappointing defeat to Birmingham.

On paper, Peterborough are perhaps the most hospitable opponents for the Swans. They have conceded at least four more away goals (19) than any other team in the Championship this season. They are one of four teams yet to keep an away clean sheet in England's second tier this term and exploiting a statistically calculated weakness of 'stopping opponents from creating chances' is key.

For this reason, Olivier Ntcham could play a key role for Russell Martin's side this weekend. The Frenchman's fitness has been managed accordingly by Martin following his arrival at the beginning of September as a free agent.

That said, Ntcham has proven his credentials where required, playing a key role in their 3-3 draw at Luton, where the 25-year-old came off the bench to score one and assist another to rescue a result.

A return of 1.5 key passes per 90 minutes is the third best of all Swansea players in the Championship this season, which shows how capable Ntcham could prove to be at prying apart the Peterborough backline.

Of course, it won't be a routine walk in the park for Ntcham against Posh, with Oliver Norburn likely to be tasked with keeping the Frenchman, among others, at bay.

The 29-year-old comes into the tie with confidence high following his man of the match showing against QPR at the weekend and, having developed strengths of 'tackling' and 'ball interception', he is the ideal midfielder to ensure the defence is well protected on Saturday.

Key stat

Peterborough United

Peterborough's win at Hull earlier this month ended a lengthy losing streak for the Posh.

It will have been a welcome relief to put that first away win on the board with the six-game losing run on their travels the longest of its kind in the division, and the second longest in the top four tiers of English football.

The Posh have claimed only three away points this season. Swansea will be out to make sure they don't add to that this weekend.