After suffering a double blow at the hands of Manchester City, Swansea are now faced with the daunting task of entertaining Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at home in the Liberty Stadium
Things have been far from perfect for Francesco Guidolin’s Swansea, who sit just above the relegation zone in 17th spot. The Welsh club have struggled to get their season underway and a daunting fixture list ahead of them over the course of the next month doesn’t do their case any good.
The Swans, having already faced Manchester City, have Liverpool, Arsenal, Watford, Stoke City and Manchester United in the upcoming weeks in a period that could well decide the fate of Guidolin’s future at the club.
Meanwhile Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are enjoying a rich vein of form at the moment having come away with 5 victories and a draw in all competitions since their 2-0 league loss at Burnley in August. Having dispatched the big guns like Leicester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, Liverpool were questioned if they could maintain that level of form against smaller teams like Hull. They did so with aplomb as they demolished Mike Phelan’s newly promoted Tigers 5-1 at Anfield.
Team News and Tactics
Swansea may have endured a troubling start to the season but their results off-late may not exactly deliver the complete story. The Welsh club did well to break down a compact Chelsea side holding them to a 2-2 draw -albeit after a controversial decision involving their second goal – and provided Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City a stern test before falling short.
Leroy Fer has proved to be a great summer acquisition for the Swans, with the Dutchman netting three goals in 6 Premier League appearances so far. Brought on as a direct replacement for West Ham bound Andre Ayew, Fer has come on and shown great tenacity, work-rate and pace that has noticably provided his side with a sting in their attack. He will be the Swans’ best hope of inflicting hurt on Klopp’s Liverpool, who will be high on confidence going into the fixture.
Guidolin’s side will have to pull out a rabbit off the hat to stop the Reds in their tracks on Saturday in a game that could well decide the Italian’s fate at the club. The Swans have history on their side as the Reds have managed to come away with just a solitary victory in their last 5 times of asking at the Liberty Stadium with their last visit culminating in a 3-1 defeat back in May.
There aren’t too many injury worries plaguing the Welsh club with Federico Fernandez’s groin injury remaining the only spot of bother apart from Nathan Dyer, who is out till November.
However, Mike Van der Hoorn could deputize for the Spaniard once more against the Reds. If last weekend was any evidence, it’s likely club record signing Borja Baston could be made to wait further in the sidelines as Guidolin will want to stick to the line-up that put up a good fight against the Citizens.
Possible Starting XI (4-3-3): Fabianski, Rangel, der Hoorn, Amat, Kingsley; Fer, Britton, Cork; Sigurdsson, Llorente, Routledge
Things are looking up in the Reds’ camp with Klopp imprinting his philosophy into the players and club and has seen it work wonders in recent games. However, the question marks, despite their dominating performances off-late, will be pointed towards their defence and their consistency. Last season, the Reds established themselves to be a team for the big occasion while often bottling simpler outings against smaller teams.
This term however, barring the loss to Burnley, Liverpool have been ruthless regardless of their opposition scoring a club record 24 goals in the opening 8 games of the season.
However, the Reds are yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season and it has been a staggering 9 away games since they last managed one. While there has been a marked improvement in the Liverpool defence compared to last season, the Reds still look susceptible to the odd lapse of concentration when they eventually concede.
The defence could see Dejan Lovren return to the fray once more with the defender having missed out on the last couple of games due to a viral infection. Divock Origi is set to be ruled out due to a minor foot injury that he suffered during training.
The Belgian only has 270 minutes of action under his belt in all competitions this season and his constant injury worries aren’t doing him any service. With him ruled out, Danny Ings could make it to the match-day squad and could even be brought into the action late in the game.
Loris Karius had little to do against Hull City aside the solitary goal that he conceded. Klopp confirmed during midweek that the summer recruit from Mainz could start for the second Premier League game in a row against Swansea, and the German will certainly be dished out a sterner test than against the Tigers last week at Anfield.
Possible Starting XI (4-3-3): Karius, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner; Lallana, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Coutinho
- Swansea’s 3-1 victory in May 2016 ended a run of eight games in all competitions without a win against Liverpool (D2 L6).
- Liverpool have won only one of their five visits to Liberty Stadium in the Premier League (D2 L2) – 1-0 in March 2015.
- Daniel Sturridge has been directly involved in six goals in his six PL appearances against Swansea for Liverpool (four goals, two assists).
- Liverpool have scored 16 goals in six Premier League games this season, last campaign it took them until their 13th match to reach this total.
- Since Jurgen Klopp was named as manager on 8 October 2015, Liverpool have scored an unrivalled 71 goals in the Premier League.
Players to watch out for
Swansea City : Leroy Fer
A stand-out player for Guidolin so far this season, Fer could be central to the troubles Swansea cause for Liverpool on Saturday, should they manage to do so. With 3 goals in 6 league games, the Dutchman will have to stand-up and be counted if he is to help his team’s case in the league table.
Liverpool FC : Jordan Henderson
After receiving a lot of flak for his performance against Burnley, Jordan Henderson has come out strong and delivered some block-buster performances, notably against Chelsea.
Liverpool’s style of play always asks a lot out of the players in the holding midfield positions and with the likes of Fer, Llorente, Sigurdsson and Cork to deal with, Henderson will prove to be a key cog in the centre of the park for the Reds.
Liverpool are on a roll and don’t seem like stopping anytime soon. However, Klopp’s men have also conceded in each of the Premier League matches thus far, while Swansea have scored in every match except the last one.
Favourable Bets :
1. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.75
2. Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 1.53
3. Liverpool Clean Sheet – NO @ 1.57
Underdog Bets :
1. Swansea Draw No Bet @ 5.50
2. Borja Baston to score anytime @ 3.60
Swansea City 0-2 Liverpool FC
The Reds have done well and with no midweek football to dampen their intensity, they should be fully fit and ready to deal with the threat Swansea pose on Saturday. The scenario was a lot different the last time they visited the Liberty Stadium when Klopp was forced to field one of Liverpool’s youngest squads in the Premier League era, as they lost 3-1 to a then rampant Swans outfit. However, with a full-strength side at his disposal there really aren’t, as Klopp himself admitted, no excuses for Liverpool.
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