Date: 19th March 2015 at 9:26pm
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Tim Sherwood and Garry Monk both met whilst doing their Pro-License coaching course, but who will come out on top in Saturday’s tactical battle?

Garry Monk has come under a lot of scrutiny this season for his tactical awareness – or lack of it according to some fans, but the rookie boss is on course to beat the club’s best ever Premier League points tally – in his first ever season as a manager – no less.

The 36 year-old is enthusiastic and is doing everything possible to ensure that his managerial career is a success, as he is fully aware of how rare an opportunity like his comes about.

Talking about Townsend, who he met whilst doing his coaching badges, Monk says that he’s restored confidence within the Aston Villa squad.

‘He’s gone in there and lifted the confidence in the group,’

‘You need results to do that but they’ve got very good players there who obviously weren’t playing to their full potential before Tim took over.

‘But he’s had an instant impact. He’s a very honest guy, black and white, and that comes across in his interviews and the way he approaches the game.

‘They’re fighting for their lives and we know this game is vitally important to them but it is the same for us.

‘We’ve got our own agenda, we want to achieve our best total of 47 points, and I think you’ve seen our attitude and focus in our recent games against Tottenham and Liverpool.

‘The actual performances deserved more than they got and we need to make sure we replicate that to get the points at Villa.’

Monk has changed his formation system to a 4-3-3, moving away from his usual 4-2-3-1. Who knows if it’s a permanent switch or not, but so far it has brought inconsistent success.

It delivered wins in its first 2 games, but the Swans have lost their last 2 and they’ll want to avoid losing a third on the bounce for the first time this season.

The performance on Monday night against Liverpool was impressive – in the first half, as Monk was on top in the tactical battle against his old pal Brendan Rodgers – but the Reds boss eventually came out on top when he changed his system slightly at half time to stop the Swans from dominating.

Monk has proved to be reactive too often this season, and changes himself came too late on to make any impact, as Liverpool took control after a difficult first half at the Liberty Stadium.

Mignolet barely had to make a save in the second half, as Swansea’s attacking threat disintegrated after forcing the visiting goalkeeper into a couple of excellent saves earlier on.

Montero was predictably Monk’s first substitution, but it was a like for like swap for Routledge, and a switch to 4-2-3-1 didn’t happen until the final 10 minutes or so.

Aston Villa look like a different side under Tim Sherwood. As Monk says, he’s got the players playing with confidence again and the pace in the side can cause the Swans plenty of problems.

Dominating possession again like they did against Liverpool in the first half will count for nothing if they don’t take their chances, and are caught out by a swift Villa counter.

Benteke and Agbonlahor are finally firing in goals again and the game is an interesting tactical battle between the two young managers.

Monk is expected to go with the diamond once again, but this could leave the full backs exposed to Villa’s pace wing players.

But against a 4-4-2, Swansea have the potential to dominate the middle third but creating and taking their chances will be crucial to get something from the game.

Can Monk and Swansea City come out on top on Saturday at Villa Park? Let us know below in the article comments…

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