By Mihail Vladimirov.
On first glance a clash between a team yet to win convincingly at home under their manager and an opponent having only one win in their last ten matches (in all competitions) is hardly eye catching. It hints strongly at a nervous and scrappy affair between two struggling mid-table quality teams.
Scratching the surface, however, reveals a completely different context of this game. For Liverpool, this game represents the perfect platform to launch their top four aspirations. A convincing win (performance, if not necessarily result-wise) here would surely set up the Reds nicely, with a series of much easier games awaiting them in the next month or so. Approaching top form mid-season is never a bad thing, especially when you’re not trailing your main top four rivals with a huge points difference.
For Swansea, meanwhile, this game could go either way and become either the important second step of their revival or the start of the end for their local favourite and current manager Garry Monk. The Swans’ spirited comeback last week against Bournemouth suggests all is far from lost for them, with the performance much improved and ultimately perfectly deserving the important three points. If the Welsh team can follow up that first step of recovery with another impressive display at Anfield, even if they are to lose, all would look better and more promising for them ahead of a busy next few weeks.
Suddenly, instead of a not so appealing clash, we’re looking at an intriguing game between two teams having it all to fight for and surely really up and ready for the battle. The interest is only heightened considering how the eventual tactical contest may play out in reality.
What’s wrong with Swansea?
At the start of the season it was almost impossible to imagine Swansea would go on such a poor run of form during the three months following the first international break.
Back in August, Monk’s team registered two home wins and two away draws, looking well set to continue their fine achievement of last season (when they managed a record high points total and league position) based on how well they were playing on the pitch. A +9 big chance difference (10 created, 1 allowed) is the biggest testament of how well they were performing.
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