After sacking the truly terrible Bob Bradley, Paul Clement was chosen as the man to lead the Swans away from the bottom of the table, whis is sure to be one of the most difficult tasks of any Premier League side this season. Meanwhile Liverpool currently sit in third position, after they have stalled somewhat across the last couple of weeks, seven points behind current leaders Chelsea. With the table so tight at the top, Liverpool can’t afford to drop points against teams in the bottom half. Both the Reds and the Swans meet in the early kick-off in what is sure to be a fascinating fixture.
Head to Head
LAST TIME OUT
Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Liverpool
After the first leg at Anfield ended in a goalles draw, much to the delight of the Plymouth faithful, this meant the League Two promotion chasers earned a replay at Home Park against Liverpool. The Pilgrims put in a valiant effort in order to produce an underdog story, however, the only goal was scored by an unlikely man as Luca Leiva, who scored his first goal in seven years, became the hero and put the Reds through to the Foruth Round of the FA Cup where they will play Championship outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Swansea City 0-4 Arsenal
In the battle against the drop zone you would’ve expected some fight in the Swansea team against a top four side battling to win the title. However, the Welsh club were instead taught a footballing lesson. Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanhcez scored the first and last goal respectively, with two own goals in between from Jack Cork and Kyle Naughton. This meant Swansea became the first team to score two own goals in a Premier League match since QPR against Liverpool in October 2014. It was another poor defensive showing from the Swans and it doesn’t bode well for the weekend.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Milner the star of the show
When you think of the former Leeds United, Newcastle United and Aston Villa man, you automatically think of versatility and reliability. In recent weeks, the former Manchester City man has been ackowledged as one of the best full backs in Europe this season despite this position not being natural to him. Milner has found the back of the net in each of his last three Premier League appearances against Swansea (two for Liverpool, one for Man City). Plus, Milner has never lost a Premier League game in which he’s scored (46 games – W37 D9); he has equalled the record held by Darius Vassell (W36 D10). Can he score again on the weekend and maintain that unbeaten record?
Henderson the main man?
It may come down to an unlikely source being the difference in the result when Liverpool come face to face with the Swans. Jordan Henderson has been directly involved in five goals in his last five PL games against Swansea, scoring three and assisting twice. Can the former Sunderland man keep his consistency? He’ll also have a tough job keeping Gylfi Sigurdsson quiet, on whom Swansea rely.
Hard work paying off for Lallana
Of the many bright sparks in the red side of Merseyside, England international Adam Lallana has been one of the brightest, all down to hard work. Lallana has run 13km in four separate games this season. Indeed, four of the five top distances posted in games this season have come from the Liverpool midfielder. His work rate has become invaluable for Liverpool and is often the basis for their good team performances.
PREDICTION: Liverpool 3-0 Swansea City
Liverpool have won five of their last six Premier League games against Swansea, losing only once (1-3 at Liberty Stadium in 2015-16), while The Swans have yet to win at Anfield in the Premier League, drawing on their first visit but losing four consecutive games since, shipping 14 goals in the process. As a result, a 3-0 win to the hosts is certain. Swansea’s defence are leaking goals by the dozen and Liverpool can be intensely strong up front. With the likely return of Coutinho, Liverpool should have no trouble.