Talking Tactics | Swansea City v Wigan Athletic
Football stats experts preview Swansea City's Championship clash with Wigan Athletic, and identify Ben Cabango as a key man in this afternoon's fixture.
Last weekend's 0-0 draw with rivals Cardiff means Swansea City have now lost just one of their last seven league matches to keep on the coat tails of the play-off chasing pack.
The stalemate marked Swansea's third successive clean sheet in the Championship, which is all the more impressive considering the respective absences of Joe Rodon and Mike van der Hoorn.
Ben Wilmot and Ben Cabango have been solid at the heart of the Swansea backline and Steve Cooper will hope for another shut out when Wigan make the trip to the Liberty Stadium today.
The Latics have won only one of their last 15 league matches and only Luton and Barnsley (both six) have earned fewer away points than Wigan (seven) in the Championship this season. Their 12 away league goals scored is one of the fewest returns in the league, while three goals in their last four visits to south Wales is a thoroughly underwhelming return for Wigan.
Swansea boast the superior head-to-head record having won four and drawn two of the last six meetings between the two sides and Cooper will be extending his side extend that record today.
Cabango has come into the XI and impressed at the heart of the defence as his WhoScored.com rating (6.87) suggests.
Indeed, of the nine clean sheets Swansea have kept in the Championship this season, three have come from the six matches Cabango has started as the young Welsh defender carries out his defensive duties with aplomb.
It's the teenger's calmness and fine reading of the game that has caught the eye this term with his 1.6 interceptions per game second only to skipper Matt Grimes (1.7) of all Swansea players this term to reinforce a statistically-calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'ball interception'.
He'll be out to maximise this trait to his game to ensure striker Josh Windass is kept quiet today. The 26-year-old is Wigan's second top scorer in the Championship this season and while he does have just four league goals to his name, two of those came in his last away league outing at Birmingham, with his brace at St. Andrew's enough to earn the WhoScored.com man-of-the-match award.
Denying Windass the opportunity to add to those four goals is of the utmost importance today, but with Cabango impressing in defence and Swansea difficult to break down at present, another clean sheet and three points to boot at Wigan's expense will be Cooper's demand.