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Swansea City – What to expect against high-flying Blackburn Rovers

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Swansea City face a tough challenge on Saturday evening as they look to improve their Championship form following recent defeats against Luton (1-0 – home) and Hull City (2-0 – away).

With the teams around them at the top of the table having a game in hand over them, Blackburn will, of course, be looking for a win to keep up with the likes of Bournemouth and QPR below them while the Swans are beginning to look over their shoulder after Cardiff’s recent wins closed the gap behind us to just three points, albeit playing one game extra.

Russell Martin’s side have at least one game in hand on all the team’s above them in the bottom half, two over some but crucially we can’t win those games to move up places in the League table. The defeat at Luton in midweek felt like a missed opportunity ahead of some tougher games coming up – based on their league position. Luton are always a tough side to beat, one with a lot of effort and intensity under Nathan Jones.

In January 2022, Blackburn kept clean sheets in all but 1 of their 5 games – a 2-0 defeat at Hull. Other results saw them get two goalless draws against Luton most recently and Huddersfield on the 2nd and wins against Middlesbrough (1-0) and Cardiff City (0-1).

Team News

Blackburn will be without Sam Gallagher and fortunately for the Swans it looks like a return will be too soon for their star man Brereton Diaz following his international duty with Chile.

Ryan Giles, a loan signing from Wolves that the Swans were expected to make, is likely to start at left wing-back.

For the Swans, Kyle Naughton looks unlikely to feature after picking up a knock against Luton on Tuesday night. It’s also unlikely that new deadline day signing Nathaneal Ogbeta will go straight into the starting line-up so Joel Latibeadiere is expected to return to the starting line-up.

New loan signing from Manchester City Finley Burns could possibly make his full debut following the absence of Kyle Naughton and the teenager might also be preferred over Ryan Bennett.

There has also been a lot of talk this week about Jamie Paterson’s return to the matchday squad. Martin said he was hopeful he would return for Saturday’s so hopefully we’ll see him named amongst the substitutes.

What we might expect from Blackburn

@SwansAnalytics on Twitter shared some graphics and highlighted some areas of where Blackburn might threaten us the most on Saturday.

As you can see in the graphics below, most of their threat comes down their right flank with the likes of Buckley and Clarkson topping the charts. Rothwell will also be a player to watch out with his creative passing in midfield.

In the second graphic above, the right flank is highlighted to show the players that creating the attacking threat from these wide areas as well as the players receiving the passes and crosses.

We can also see above how they’re getting the ball into the penalty area. There appears to be three main types of pass into the box. The forward passes from midfield, and diagonals from the left side of midfield aimed into the right side of the box.  Hopefully that is something the likes of Flynn Downes can help to prevent with Rothwell, again, the player making these dangerous passes into good areas.

Finally, the graphic above shows the threat map in the last five games. We see here how more threat comes down their left which is a big problem area for Swansea defensively.

There’s no surprise that Brereton tops the charts for causing the most threat followed by Buckley and Khadra.

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