Tottenham will expect to record a comfortable victory against Swansea this weekend, but if the visitors are to pull off a major shock then it will most likely come from ex-Spurs player and set-piece specialist Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Tottenham commit more fouls (12.7 per match) than any other Premier League side in 2015/16, most likely because of their hard pressing tactic, while the South Wales side are the third most fouled team (11.9 per match).
This is a statistical match-up that visiting Swansea supporters will cling on to in the hope of an unlikely goal source, with Sigurdsson having scored from two direct free-kicks this season and the Swans netting five times from the penalty spot.
With five goals in his last seven games Sigurdsson’s swagger has returned, thanks largely to manager Francesco Guidolin’s diamond 4-4-2 formation. Utilising two strikers – both of whom close down from the front – has helped Swansea move further up the pitch and regain possession in more dangerous areas.
Sigurdsson has received the ball in notably more space as opposition centre-backs are distracted by the dual threat of strikers. Eric Dier will expect to dominate this zone between defence and midfield, but if Andre Ayew and Sigurdsson can draw fouls in and around the box, then Swansea could get a result.
At the other end, the most interesting battle will be between Ashley Williams (2.7 interceptions, 2.2 aerial duels won per game) and Harry Kane, who will be playing in a mask after suffering a broken nose.
It will be interesting to see if their physical battle is altered by Kane’s injury, or whether Kane’s runs on the inside of the full-backs will prove too intelligent for the Wales captain to track.
Spurs vs Swansea LIVE ANALYSIS with Stats Zone
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