Pre-match analysis: Burnley defence looks too strong for limited Swansea attack

The Clarets could move into the top five with a victory against the side just one place from the bottom of the table.

Pre-match analysis: Burnley defence looks too strong for limited Swansea attack
James Tarkowski will not allow the likes of Jordan Ayew an easy run on Saturday (photo: Getty Images / Paul Jenkins)

Swansea City will have to find a way of creating chances against one of the most stubborn defences in the Premier League if they want to have any chance of lifting themselves out of the relegation zone this weekend.

Midfield battles will be key

Only Crystal Palace have scored less goals than Paul Clement's side but such a statistic is no surprise when you consider that Swansea average just eight shots per game. No team has attempted less, despite the side holding a strong pass success rate at 78.2%.

Swansea would expect to manufacture more strikes at goal against a naturally defensive Burnley side who set up to contain. The likes of Tom Carroll, Leon Britton, Leroy Fer and Sam Clucas all have passing ability in an engine room that could be packed by six players on Saturday. Tammy Abraham will be a threat going forward with four goals to his name but no other Swansea player has scored more than one league goal thus far.

The battle of Clement's trio against Sean Dyche's central midfield could be where the game is won or lost. Steven Defour has made the second most interceptions in the league this season, a statistic that often goes unnoticed alongside Jack Cork who has made more clearances than any other midfielder in the top flight this season. The former Swan will also benefit from inside knowledge after his transfer this summer. 

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First goal could be critical

Burnley have the fourth strongest defence in the top flight after conceding just nine goals in ten games. Yet Swansea have only shipped four more and played a game extra, laying further evidence that their attacking potential is the weak spot in the squad. 

The visiting defence will be buoyed by the knowledge that Burnley's record signing, Chris Wood, may not start. The New Zealand international had a minor hamstring knock whilst on duty for his country and faced a daunting 13-hour flight back to England on Thursday, barely 48 hours before this Saturday's kick-off.

The first goal will certainly be critical in this contest. Games involving either Burnley or Swansea this season have seen less goals on average than any other Premier League side. An opening goal will be critical to the visitors in particular after losing five of their last six Premier League matches by a single goal margin.