This weekend features a trip to Swansea City A.F.C. for the Reds on the heels of their 5-1 drubbing of Hull City, perhaps their most impressive showing so far this season. Swansea are reeling this year, but have recently received some praise for “almost beating” Manchester City twice.
The team from the Welsh coast are considered unlucky to find themselves in 17th position in the table having picked up just four points from six games so far this year; many pundits have said they’ve played better than their results would suggest.
Fortunately for Liverpool, there probably will not be a better time than this Saturday afternoon to play 90 minutes in front of the Jack Army. There is speculation that head coach Francesco Guidolin, who guided the Swans to safety last season, will be sacked either on Friday or just after Saturday’s game. Interestingly, Bob Bradley is the favorite to take over on the Welsh coast. To add to that, this will be game five of an eleven game stretch in which the Swans face all of last year’s top six, plus Liverpool and Chelsea.
Ok, so now that I’ve made the case for why Liverpool should come away from this game with three points fairly easily, let’s have a look at how Swansea are going to try to prevent that.
How Will They Set Up?
Guidolin has set his team up this year somewhere between a 4-3-3 and a 4-2-3-1, dependent on the matchup. Most recently against Manchester City, the 4-2-3-1 was chosen, and it is likely we will see the same on Saturday.
Fernando Llorente signed for Swansea for €6 million just nine days before the start of the Premier League and notched his first goal for the Swans in last week’s loss to Manchester City. He’s likely to spearhead their attack.
Gylfi Sigurdsson has been one of the bright spots for Swansea this year, and though his name often appears on the right side of the tactical graphic display, he typically likes to operate through the middle. Look for him to try to combine often with Llorente and with Wayne Routledge on Liverpool’s left side, as no doubt Swansea will try to test out how well James Milner has settled in at left back.
Leroy Fer, Jack Cork and Leon Britton will likely provide the midfield cover for the Swansea City back line. The front six certainly has the experience, skill and industry to pose some problems if anyone in red lets their guard down at any point in the match.
Center-back Federico Fernández missed last week’s game against Manchester City and it is unclear whether he will be fit for Saturday’s game. If he is out, new signing Mike van der Hoorn will make his second Premier League appearance next to Jordi Amat as the center-back pairing. Kyle Naughton and Angel Rangel are most likely to play out wide in defense, with Lukasz Fabianski in goal.
How Will Liverpool Set Up?
It would be difficult to take anyone out of the team that thrashed Hull 5-1 last weekend, but a return from illness for Dejan Lovren means he will likely return to his spot in the back four in place of Ragnar Klavan. Aside from that, the team will likely remain the same.
That would mean a front three of Coutinho, Firmino and Mané, a midfield of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Lallana, a back four of Clyne, Matip, Lovren and Milner, with Karius in goal. Good enough for five against Hull, and if they play like they have lately, good enough to take three points at Swansea.
Kickoff your weekend the right way with a 6:30 AM game time at the Gale with us, HoustonLFC.
Here are some links I enjoyed while preparing for this game, perhaps you’d enjoy them too: