Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Rotherham United

18th November 2020
First team
Freddie Woodman Talking Tactics

Football stats experts take a close look at the form of Swansea City goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, and what it might mean for Saturday's clash against Rotherham.

Championship action returns this weekend as Swansea City prepare to take on Rotherham United and bid to get back to winning ways.

A 1-0 loss at Norwich before the international break saw a five-game unbeaten run draw to a close, but the Swans remain just three points off top spot in the early stages of the promotion race.

The Swans will view a home fixture as an ideal opportunity to pick up three points, but they face an obdurate Rotherham side.

Paul Warne's side currently sit just five points above the relegation zone and, while they have won two of their last four league outings, they haven't won in four on the road.

Only a handful of teams have earned fewer away points than Rotherham (five) in the 2020-21 Championship season to date, while only Watford and Nottingham Forest (both two) have scored fewer away goals than the Millers (three) this term. Those are figures they will be keen to improve, but they will face a stern test against a solid defensive unit.

Indeed, only Middlesbrough (two) have conceded fewer home goals than Swansea (three) in English football's second tier this season, with the south Wales side proving increasingly difficult to break down.

It's been very much a team effort, but there's been no doubting the calibre of performances from Freddie Woodman between the sticks for Steve Cooper's side.

The young goalkeeper has kept a clean sheet in three of his four home outings this season, and has proven a shrewd capture having returned from Newcastle for a second loan spell earlier this year.

Woodman has now kept 17 clean sheets since the start of the 2019-20 season, one of the better returns in the division, and, given Swansea's solid defensive showings this term, he'll be seeking to add to that record at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

When taking into account that Rotherham have failed to score in back-to-back away matches ahead of their trip to south Wales, the 23-year-old will be targeting a fourth clean sheet in five home games.

For Rotherham, they will be looking to the likes of striker Freddie Ladapo to find a way past Woodman in order to spring an upset at the Liberty Stadium.

The Nigerian forward has netted once in his 10 appearances so far, that coming in a 2-1 loss to Norwich last month.

Ladapo's performances have yielded a rating of 6.44 this season, and he and the Millers will be looking to improve on their recent record when they head to South Wales.

Woodman, meanwhile, boasts a strength of 'saving close range shots', underlining the challenge facing Ladapo and his team-mates and the need to be clinical.

Rotherham's overall defensive record is also solid but they have conceded in four of their five away matches. 

Swansea will hope if Woodman is able to keep the Millers offensive at bay, and the Swansea attack can continue their positive record in the final third, then Cooper will be able to oversee a return to winning ways this weekend.