TALKING TACTICS: Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur
4th October 2015
We have linked up with football stats expertsWhoScored.com to preview Sunday's Barclays Premier League meeting with high-flying Tottenham Hotspur.
Mauricio Pochettino's side come into the fixture on the back of a morale boosting 4-1 thumping of title favourites Manchester City, but Thursday's excursions in the 1-1 draw with Monaco in the Europa League mean the London outfit could yet be there for the taking.
Spurs have traditionally struggled to balance Europe's second competition with their league duties, and the Swans have hopes of putting three points on the board at the Liberty Stadium.
Only Manchester United (10) and Spurs (8) have won more points at home than Swansea (7) in the Premier League this season, though the duo have played one more home game than the Welsh side.
The Swans are presented with a real chance to head into the international break on a high with the welcome of Spurs to south Wales and it's crucial they snap out of their current form, which has seen Garry Monk's side fail to win any of their last three league games.
If they are to record their third win of the campaign, creative star Gylfi Sigurdsson needs to be firing on all cylinders this weekend.
Sigurdsson, who has helped Iceland qualify for Euro 2016, will want to really kickstart his season and he will have been buoyed by his first goal at Southampton last weekend.
The 26-year-old is keen to prove his qualities to his former employers in front of the Swansea fans, while he has impressed against Spurs in the past.
Sigurdsson has two goals to his name in his three league appearances against the Londoners and his ability from dead-ball situations could be required to break the deadlock on Sunday.
No team has conceded fewer goals than Spurs (5) in the Premier League this season, but that isn't to say they have been watertight at the back despite their impressive defensive record.
The North London outfit have developed a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com weakness of 'avoiding fouling in dangerous areas', while it's worth noting that Spurs have received the most yellow cards (20) in the Premier League this season, suggesting the squad's inexperience does show at times.
Sigurdsson, meanwhile, boasts WhoScored.com strengths of 'taking set-pieces' and 'direct free-kicks' with the Swans star having the precision from set-pieces to either pick out a team-mate or test Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.
Either way, Spurs need to keep a close eye on Sigurdsson if they are to limit his impact, a task likely to be assigned to Eric Dier.
Dier has excelled in the heart of Spurs' midfield this season, with the 21-year-old (7.46) currently the club's highest-rated player according to WhoScored.com. While the likes of Heung-min Son and Dele Alli have been drawing the plaudits, Dier has been going about his business with ruthless efficiency by breaking up play and recycling possession effectively.
The England hopeful needs to be at the top of his game once more in order to curb Sigurdsson's influence in the final third. However, if the Swansea creator plays to this his potential, the home side have what it takes to take all three points on Sunday.
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