Swansea City predicted XI vs Watford: Who will come in for injured Jack Cork?

Swansea City predicted XI vs Watford: Who will come in for injured Jack Cork?

As Swansea City travel to Watford, we look at who could line up for the Swans.

JackMceachen
Jack Mceachen

As Swansea City travel to Watford, in another pivotal game for the away side, we look at who could feature for Paul Clement’s side.

Clement ruled Jack Cork out of the fixture, after the captain picked up an ankle injury in the 1-0 loss at West Ham United last week.

Swansea are currently 18th in the table, two points behind Hull City as the two battle to avoid relegation.

The defence

Lukasz Fabianski - The Polish shot-stopper has played every minute of Swansea’s Premier League campaign, and barring any late injury that will continue against Watford. He has conceded more goals than any other goalkeeper in the league this season, and while it hasn’t been his best campaign that stat has largely been down to the defence in front of him.

Kyle Naughton - With Angel Rangel out for presumably the rest of the season after fracturing a metatarsal in his right foot during the 2-1 loss to Hull, Swansea are now more than ever reliant on Kyle Naughton to stay fit. Leroy Fer is not expected to return back to an unfamiliar right-back role.

Federico Fernandez - Swansea’s defence is far from perfect, and that’s putting it lightly. Clement however seems to have settled on a centre-back pairing of Federico Fernandez and Alfie Mawson, and that’s unlikely to change this weekend.

Alfie Mawson - One of the breakthrough players of the entire Premier League this season. Mawson, 23-years-old, has been incredible ever since Clement plugged him into the starting lineup. He’s a big part of Swansea’s future, be that in the Premier League or in the EFL Championship. 

Martin Olsson - Martin Olsson has been a breath of fresh air ever since he joined the club from Norwich City in January. He’s a competent defender, but his qualities are shown when Swansea are in possession and breaking down that left-hand flank.

A new-look midfield

Leroy Fer - Manager Clement hinted that he may change the shape, from a 4-3-3 to something else, but we’re sticking with the same shape that brought him so much initial success, even though that seems like a long time ago. Fer has found his role on the right-side of a midfield three, and looks a much better player there.

Leon Britton - There were three candidates to replace Cork. Leon Britton, Ki Sung-Yeung and Jay Fulton. Britton hasn’t played a single minute of Premier League football in 2017, but Swansea are in a dire state and a return to ‘The Swansea Way’ that Britton embodies is desperately needed.

In his pre-match press conference Clement spoke about Britton: “He has a lot of experience. I know he wants to be playing, but he shows a very professional attitude, putting the team ahead of himself. I like him a lot. 

Clement continued: “Even though he hasn’t been playing, I have always liked to have him close to the squad because he is a very positive influence.

Tom Carroll - Little Tom Carroll has embodied Swansea’s form under Clement. It does seem like when Carroll plays well, so does the rest of the side and vice-versa. Ki will be pushing for a place in this side too but unfortunately misses out.

A change up front

Wayne Routledge - The winger has now made more Premier League appearances for Swansea than any other player in their history, and his experience will be needed in order to come away from Vicarage Road with three points. Jordan Ayew and Luciano Narsingh have every right to start ahead of Wayne Routledge, but the Englishman may be preferred. 

Fernando Llorente - The striker has been out with an ankle injury and could make his first start since the 2-0 loss to Bournemouth. Swansea’s offence is really poor, and it’s shown without Fernando Llorente. They looked devoid of ideas, and without Llorente to knock the ball up to they really struggled, and it’s been one of the main reasons why their form has dropped off. He will be a welcome return.

Gylfi Sigurdsson - There’s every chance that Swansea could change to a 4-2-3-1 system and see Gylfi Sigurdsson return to a more familiar role as the number 10, but on offence he has played the same role in this 4-3-3. He has looked tired recently, but he is too valuable to leave out of the side and will start once again.

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