Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Stoke City

5th October
First team
Yan Dhanda

Not for the first time this season, Swansea came from behind to secure all three points, with Charlton falling to defeat on Wednesday night.

The away victory ended the Swans' three-match winless run and, in the process, saw them surge to the top of the Championship.

Today's game sees the leaders in action against bottom club Stoke.

The Potters foot the Championship table having earned just two points from their 10 league outings this season and are the only team yet to win a game - losing eight times - with Nathan Jones overseeing a 16-match winless run.

Swansea would love nothing more than a repeat of their 3-1 win in this game last season and you'd certainly back the Swans to secure all the spoils in this clash. Indeed, they have lost just one of their last 16 home league matches and are very much the favourites to come away with all three points at the Liberty Stadium.

Yan Dhanda

And the best way to increase the Swans' chances of securing a second successive league win is for Cooper to include youngster Yan Dhanda from the off once more. The 20-year-old netted the equaliser at Charlton on Wednesday night, that just his second league goal of his senior career, with his performance at The Valley enough to land the WhoScored.com man-of-the-match award with a 7.66 rating.

Swansea are yet to drop points in the three league matches Dhanda has started this season and with three wins from three Championship starts, Cooper will hope that record continues at Stoke's expense. Given Stoke have conceded more goals (21) than any other team in England's second tier this term, Dhanda will fancy his chances of notching his second league goal of the campaign to help pile further misery on the Potters.

Given five of Stoke's statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weaknesses are defensive focused, all of which are deemed 'very weak', it wouldn't be a huge shock to see Swansea really put Stoke to the sword this afternoon, particularly as their 15 league goals is the fifth best return in the league.

 

Charlton Yan Dhanda

Should Dhanda, as expected, start, it's likely he'll do so in the number 10 role and while Stoke have struggled this term, they still have their tough tackling personnel to limit the Swansea man's attacking influence, with Badou Ndiaye making more tackles per game (5) than any other Stoke player this term. Jones will hope the 28-year-old can minimise Dhanda's impact in the final third as, failure to do so, could prove costly.

With a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'tackling', and having earned a better WhoScored.com rating (7.16) than any other Stoke player, Ndiaye has a key role to play for the Potters as they strive to secure their first league win of the campaign.

However, as Wednesday's battling win highlights, Swansea have more than enough to overcome even the toughest of opponents and with Cooper's side out to secure the three points to see them retain first, another mtop display from Dhanda significantly increases the possibility of victory.

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