Swansea manager Bob Bradley made five changes from the side that lost 5-0 to Tottenham Hotspur the week before, and has made himself a reputation for constantly changing his side, but will we see that occur again?
Barring injuries, it’s fair to say that there may be less changes than usual, even with the upcoming hectic Christmas period.
Defence looking for another clean sheet
The goalkeeper has been ever-present this season, and showed with a wonderful save against Papi Djilibodji against Sunderland that he is one of the better ‘keepers in the league and will be crucial in Swansea’s bid to avoid relegation.
Now, Angel Rangel was superb against Sunderland. It was probably his best performance in 18 months. He is however 34 and has played just 190 minutes of Premier League football since Halloween. This decision comes down to how Rangel looks in training really.
Federico Fernandez is still out with a broken too, but even if the Argentine was fit, it would be incredibly harsh to break up last week’s centre-back partnership. It was the sturdiest Swansea’s defence has looked all season, and Alfie Mawson was a large part of that.
Jordi Amat has had his fair share of stick from fans and pundits this season, but to give him credit where it’s due, he was outstanding alongside Mawson against Sunderland. This could be Swansea’s best partnership going forward.
Another stellar outing from a defender against Sunderland, but it’s worth noting that Stephen Kingsley didn’t play with the under-23 side against West Ham on Monday, so there’s every chance he could be pushed into a starting role if Bradley does decide to rotate during the Christmas break.
Midfield performing well
The Scot has started Swansea’s last four games and has made quite the impression during that span. He’s looked neat and tidy, and defensively sound, and there’s a very good chance that he makes his fifth start in a row, his best record in a Swansea shirt.
This is another one that depends entirely on Leon Britton’s fitness levels. He’s 34 now, and has had some trouble recently with playing twice in the same week. He was one of the standout performers against Sunderland though, so Bradley really does have a tough call in midfield. Bradley didn’t say whether he was going to rotate his side over the Christmas period either in his Tuesday press conference.
Swansea’s main man will without a doubt start, barring injury. Swansea have struggled to create chances outside of set-pieces without Jefferson Montero on the pitch. This means Gylfi Sigurdsson, and his set-piece expertise, are more vital than ever.
Forwards scoring goals as of late
The winger really does add balance to the front line, even though his output is less than flattering. He seems to be one of Bradley’s preferred players, having started in every game under the American and that should continue, despite Montero’s ability to create chances being needed desperately.
Another two goals against Sunderland has seen Fernando Llorente establish himself as Swansea’s first choice striker, unless Bradley opts against using a forward, which seems unlikely given the Spaniard’s good form.
The Gambian is in direct competition with Montero for this spot in the side. While Modou Barrow has been one of Swansea’s better performers this season, he really does need to improve his output with zero goals and just two assists in 1012 minutes.