Watford v Swans: The big talking points

30th December 2017
First team

​​​​​​​Carlos Carvalhal kicks off his Swansea City reign with a tricky trip to Watford this afternoon.

Here are all the major talking points heading into another big game for the Swans.


The Carvalhal factor

New Swans boss Carvalhal will be at the helm for the first time today having met his players on Thursday morning.

The former Sheffield Wednesday manager has had only two training sessions in which to work with his new squad, but the Swans hope the new man’s arrival will have an immediate impact.

After all, a painful run of just one win in the last 12 Premier League games leaves the Swans in desperate need of points.

How will they line up?

Paul Clement has tried numerous formations and various players this season in an attempt to find a winning formula.

The Swans did not triumph often enough, however, hence Carvalhal has been given a chance in the Premier League.

The Portuguese was in upbeat mood as he faced the media for the first time this week, stressing that the Swans can pull off another great escape this season.

We will get a first clue about how the new man plans to turn things around when he names his team later.

Portuguese men of war

Carvalhal has become only the fourth Portuguese manager to work in the Premier League after landing the Swans job.

Coincidentally, he will face one of the other three today.

Jose Mourinho was the first, then came Andre Villas-Boas. Last season, Marco Silva joined the list when he went to Hull.

He has since moved on to Watford, where he has had a positive impact despite a slight dip in form of late.

So which of the Portuguese bosses will come out on top this weekend?

Deeney missing

Troy Deeney has had plenty of success against the Swans down the years, so it can be considered a bonus for Alfie Mawson and Co that he will not feature this afternoon because of suspension.

Admittedly, however, Deeney has not been a central figure under Silva, with the likes of Richarlison and Abdoulaye Doucoure proving to be key threats this season.

They will have to be smothered if Carvalhal’s debut is to go well.

The goal is goals

Asked this week how he wants his Swans side to play, Carvalhal immediately mentioned attacking football.

There is a need to get the defensive side of the game right, of course, but the area where the Swans must improve most is up front.

Can the new regime inspire a turnaround in fortunes at the top end of the field?

Carvalhal will not be helped this weekend by the possible absence of Wilfried Bony, but the Swans need others to step up.