Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Reading

29th December 2020
First team
Andre Ayew Talking Tactics

Football stats experts take a look at the recent form of Andre Ayew, and examine why he can be a key figure for Swansea City in Wednesday's clash against Reading.

After a 2-0 win at QPR on Boxing Day, Swansea City return to the Liberty Stadium this week as they take on Reading.

The Royals, like Swansea, earned victory on Saturday as they defeated Luton, but three defeats in five leaves Reading three points behind Wednesday's opponents.

Back-to-back victories either side of Christmas have moved Steve Cooper's side into the automatic promotion places, however the Welsh outfit can't afford any slip ups as things remain tight in the table. Indeed, victory for Reading this week would see them move level on points with the Swans.

That said, Swansea have had the upper hand over Reading in recent years, and are unbeaten in their last 13 competitive meetings with the Berkshire outfit. And despite their solid position in the table, Reading have been anything but at the back, which may come back to haunt them in this quest for a Premier League return.

Indeed, coming into the midweek round of games, only a handful of teams have conceded more goals than Reading (27) in the Championship this season and, against a Royals outfit that has conceded in all but three of 10 away league matches, Swansea will be eyeing a third successive league victory.

Andre Ayew netted in the Boxing Day win over QPR to take his total to eight league goals for the season, and his performance in west London yielded a rating of 7.59, that enough to secure a spot in the team of the week. The Ghanaian's goal return is the fifth best in England's second tier in 2020-21 and he'll be relishing the prospect of  trying to add to that record against Reading.

Ayew put in a solid shift when these two last met, that a 4-1 win over the Royals back in July, and Cooper will be looking for the 31-year-old to lead from the front and add to his fine goal return at the expense of Reading in midweek.

Given Reading's away form of late - they have won just one of their last six away games, losing three - Swansea will be keen to extend their excellent home record, with a 2-0 win over Barnsley earlier this month making it seven games unbeaten at the Liberty Stadium.

As impressive as Ayew has been in the Championship this season, though, he won't have it easy in his bid to add to his fine league return at the Liberty Stadium.

Centre-back Michael Morrison has been a regular feature for Reading this season, playing every minute of the Royals' league campaign to date and he is expected to start at the heart of the Reading defence once more at Swansea.

The 32-year-old has garnered a rating of 6.78 this season, that one of the better returns for Reading, and he'll need to be at his very best to ensure Ayew is unable to add to his eight league goals this term.

Home fortunes, though, have favoured the Swans frontman in 2020/21, with four his eight goals and one of his two assists coming in nine league outings at the Liberty Stadium, a record he'll seek to improve upon against Reading this week.