Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Sunderland
Swansea City will look to build on their victory over Blackburn Rovers when they host Sunderland on Saturday (3pm) at the Swansea.com Stadium.
Ahead of the visit, WhoScored.com preview the clash, looking at what to expect from the Black Cats, the key battle and a key stat.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM SUNDERLAND
Tony Mowbray’s side currently find themselves situated just one point adrift of the play-off spots with seven wins from their first 14 league fixtures this season.
In their most recent outing, Sunderland came from behind to beat Norwich which put an end to their run of three losses on the bounce.
The Black Cats have scored their fair share of goals already this season, with only the top two - Leicester and Ipswich (29) – outscoring Sunderland (24) in the Championship so far.
Mowbray has adopted a few different formations already this season, but most recently they have been setting up in a 4-1-4-1, which they are likely to go with in this fixture.
The WhoScored.com match forecast suggests Sunderland will rely on moments of individual skill to create chances, with the Black Cats currently boasting the highest average number of successful dribbles in the league with 11.8.
Those figures do not really come as a surprise when you look at the individual stats which show Sunderland’s Jack Clarke (46) and Patrick Roberts (34) topping the charts for successful dribbles this season in the Championship.
Not only is Clarke the league’s top dribbler, he is also the third highest-rated player in the league according to WhoScored.com with a rating of 7.68. He has already contributed 10 of Sunderland’s 24 goals this season with nine goals and one assist.
Keeping Clarke quiet could be key for the home side this afternoon, and Harrison Ashby will face the former Tottenham man looking to build on his fine showing at Blackburn last weekend.
Ashby may have started just half of Swansea’s league fixtures this season but has already been awarded two Player of the Match awards by WhoScored.com, a total that no other Swansea player has bettered.
The most recent of those came in the aforementioned victory against Blackburn. Not only was he influential in securing Swansea’s third league clean sheet of the season, but Ashby also made a total of three successful tackles and three successful dribbles, as well as having three attempts on goal.
The hosts have lost their last two home games with defeats against league leaders Leicester and Watford but they can take positivity from their recent form against today’s opponents.
Swansea have won all of their last four meetings with Sunderland, finding the back of the net at least twice in the last five between these two sides in all competitions.