With both Manchester teams dropping points and Chelsea registering a win, last weekend was just so perfect for us. We hope for the same or even better, as we head into another round of Premier League fixtures in which we pay a visit to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City.
Let us have a look at our opponents in our Opposition Scouting Report:
THE TEAM AND THE RECENT FORM
Swansea AFC is a Welsh professional football club, based in the city of Swansea, South Wales. They now represent England in the European competitions, although they have represented Wales in the past. Founded in 1921, the club changed its name from Swansea Town to Swansea City in 1969, reflecting Swansea’s new status as a city.
They were promoted to the first division in 1981 and came near to winning the title in the following season. But a decline saw them eventually settling for a club record 6th position. A series of further decline resulted in their returning to the fourth division a few seasons later. Their latest promotion to the English Premier League came in 2011, and Swansea became the first Welsh team to play in the tournament since its formation in 1992.
The team managed by Garry Monk, is currently sitting at 9th position in the table. With 30 points in 21 games, they have managed 8 wins and 6 draws, losing 7 of their games this season. Having had a poor recent form, they have 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw in their last 5 game. But the results at home have been quite impressive, with just one loss in their last five fixtures at home. Adding to their problems, will be the absence of start striker Wilfried Bony who has signed for Manchester City and thus, can’t play against Chelsea on Saturday.
FORMATION AND STYLE OF PLAY
The Swans have been known to be one of the most settled and organized sides in the Premier League this season, whether it be the players in the starting line-up or the same playing formation. In all of their games this season, they have squared up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Without having to say much, it becomes quite clear that this system requires a massive role from the midfielders. They seek to control possession in the midfield with short and sharp passes, and non-stop movement between the five midfielders. The full backs are often seen beyond their wingers, and have always been involved in taking the team forward and also guarding like a shield.
Gylfi Sigurdson will play at the No.10 position, with expected Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer on the wings. Garry Monk’s men look to find the opening very patiently before creating a through ball, with their speedy wingers or the center forward Bony at the receiving ends. Now with Bony gone, it will be interesting to see whether Bafetimbi Gomis will be able to fill his shoes, and score goals and get his teammates into play, or not.
STRENGTH – KEY PLAYERS
1. Gylfi Sigurdson: Better call him assist-king or Swansea’s passing maestro! The 23-year-old Iceland international, joined Swansea at the beginning of this season from Tottenham Hotspurs, and the journey from a new signing to their main man has been quite amazing for Sigurdson. In 20 appearances, he has 8 assists and 4 goals to his name. His presence on the field brings a range of passes, some of them splitting defenses and overall increasing the team’s offensive strength by a huge margin. A long short expert, he has scored some of the outstanding goals including the one against Arsenal which gave his team a 2-1 win over the Gunners.
2. Nathan Dyer: The 27-year-old speedster knows how to play the role of a perfect winger in the right way. The midfielders in the team are ensured that a receiver is ever present for their through balls, because of the positioning sense of Dyer which gets even better owing to his pace. With the ability to get behind the defenders and finishing prowess, he has fetched 5 goals in 18 appearances in all competitions this campaign, and also has 2 assists to his name.
According to whoscored.com, Swansea have developed a weakness of ‘avoiding fouls in dangerous areas’ which means that Chelsea can flood their penalty box and force the Swans into fouling, if only the referee is kind enough to reward CHELSEA with a penalty. The team has a calculated weakness in winning aerial duels, which puts them in trouble after giving away a set-piece and also restricts them from making the best of the ones they get.
HEAD TO HEAD
The fixture between Chelsea and Swansea has seen 27 games being played throughout the history. Chelsea have won on 12 occasions, while Swansea on 9. The game has ended in a draw 9 times. In the last five meetings between the two sides, Chelsea have won 4 times and both have settled for a draw one time.
Jose Mourinho’s team can face some hardships when they play Swansea, and that too away from home. But with Manchester City facing Arsenal on Sunday and having a chance to drop points, this is the opportunity we can’t miss. Expect some good things to happen this weekend too. Fingers crossed. KTBFFH!
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Edited By: Ankur Bhatt