The FourFourTwo Preview: Swansea vs Leicester
Two stuttering sides hoping to find form.
- Stoke 2-1 Swansea (Prem)
- Swansea 2-2 Newcastle (Prem)
- S’land 0-0 Swansea (Prem)
- Swansea 3-0 Everton (LC)
- Swansea 0-1 So’ton (Prem)
- Newcastle 1-0 Leicester (Prem)
- Leicester 2-2 Burnley (Prem)
- Palace 2-0 Leicester (Prem)
- Leicester 5-3 Man Utd (Prem)
- Stoke 0-1 Leicester (Prem)
Neither of these sides will be unhappy per se with 11 and nine points respectively in the league so far this season, yet both will feel it could and should have been more.
Swansea’s flying start has come to an abrupt halt with no wins in their last five games, and with just two points from their previous three games – although it could so easily have been nine points – right-back Angel Rangel says this is a must-win game.
Yes, even this early in the season, when just five points separate fourth and 17th. And the reason is quite simple: their next three league fixtures are against Everton, Arsenal and Manchester City.
Leicester, on the other hand, have two winnable home games to come, sandwiched in between a tough trip to Southampton. They, like the Swans, have had less trouble scoring than keeping them out, but have also stuttered recently after wins at Stoke and, memorably, at home against Manchester United.
The odds are very much stacked in favour of a home win, though – as the last six meetings between the two have been. Swansea’s only defeat at home this season was when Wilfried Bony was sent off in the first half against fellow possession-lovers Saints, while the Foxes have found the net on the road just once this season.
For that to change, Leonardo Ulloa will have to find his shooting boots. After scoring five goals in his first five Premier League games, the Argentine hasn’t even had a shot in his last three.
Swansea have no fresh injury worries, although recent England call-up Jonjo Shelvey is just one booking away from a ban. For Leicester, the game comes too soon for Matthew Upson, who is nearing a return following foot surgery. Fellow defender Zoumana Bakayogo is a long-term absentee with a knee problem.
Key battle: Wilfried Bony vs Wes Morgan
Although he’s only opened his goalscoring account for the season in his last two games, Bony is key to Swansea's possession game, allowing attacking midfielders such as Shelvey and Gylfi Sigurdsson to create by holding the ball up, as well as winning his fair share of aerial duels. Against West Brom, the big Ivorian didn't just stay central either, bringing team-mates into play all across the forward line.
Morgan will have to decide whether to shadow Bony or hold his position centrally, as he did for the most part against Chelsea on the opening day of the season, not losing a single duel on the ground – although he wasn’t so dominant aerially – and battling manfully against the equally physical Diego Costa. Seconds out...
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
- Leic 2-1 Swans (Ch, Jan 11)
- Swans 2-0 Leic (Ch, Oct 10)
- Swans 1-0 Leic (Ch, Jan 10)
- Leic 2-1 Swans (FAC, Jan 10)
- Leic 2-1 Swans (Ch, Aug 09)
It’s fair to say it’s been a much quieter week for Nigel Pearson than it has for Garry Monk after the Swansea manager labelled Stoke forward Victor Moses a cheat for the way he won a penalty. The 35-year-old should be more concerned about his side’s finishing – two points from the last three games could easily have been nine had they made the most of their possession and chances. Pearson too has called on his side to be more clinical in front of goal.
Facts and figures
- The last 6 meetings between Swansea and Leicester have been home wins.
- Swansea have taken just 17 corners in 8 league games this season.
- Leicester have conceded more shots on target (46) than any other Premier League side this season.
More FFT Stats Zone facts
Everything points to a home win, including us. 2-0.