Swansea City v Fulham: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to this week’s Premier League fixture at the Liberty Stadium

It is almost unthinkable that a team who were so successful last season and won so many plaudits, winning the Capital One Cup and finishing ninth in the league, could find themselves on the edge of a relegation battle this season, but that is where Michael Laudrup’s side find themselves. A combination of second-season syndrome for Laudrup and participation in the Europa League are possible culprits for Swansea’s decline, and perhaps, fifteenth place reflects a rather false assessment of what the Dane’s squad is capable of. Nevertheless, Laudrup will be hoping to put an end to his side’s worrying run of form, which has seen them fail to win in eight league matches and win just two of their last sixteen home games, when they meet fellow strugglers Fulham.

Things are not looking much better for Fulham. In fact, they are looking worse. The stats speak for themselves. The Cottagers have averaged just one point per game under Rene Meulensteen, compared to 0.77 under Martin Jol, and have won only three of their last fourteen matches. The writing is on the wall for Fulham; they are very much involved in a relegation scrap. The revival under Meulensteen has failed to take off at any great speed, and while his side continue to leak goals at the rate in which they do, conceding 48 this season with a goal difference of -26, Fulham will struggle to pick up points.

To compile the Fulham manager’s concerns, the fixture comes just two days after Fulham’s FA Cup Fourth Round draw against Sheffield United, and the Dutchman will be less than pleased with having to play again so soon, but will restore a whole host of key players for this game. Swansea, on the other hand, fared much better at the weekend, with two goals from Wilfried Bony against Birmingham seeing them through to the next round, and despite missing Michu, Jonjo Shelvey and Jose Canas for this game, if the Ivorian can keep his rich vein of form going, the Swans will be optimistic they can get all three points against the Cottagers, like they did in the reverse fixture earlier on in the season.

KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm

PAST MEETINGS…

Fulham 1 (Parker) Swansea 2 (Hughes o.g, Shelvey), Premier League, November 2013

Swansea 0 Fulham 3 (Kacaniklic, Berbatov, Emanuelson), Premier League, May 2013

Fulham 1 (Ruiz) Swansea 2 (Graham, de Guzman) Premier League, December 2012

Fulham 0 Swansea 3 (Sigurdsson 2, Allen) Premier League, March 2012

Swansea 2 (Sinclair, Graham) Fulham 0, Premier League, December 2011

STATS…

In three consecutive matches between the sides from September 1956 to August 1957 in the old Division Two there were a total of 27 goals scored (Fulham 7-3 Swansea, Swansea 4-5 Fulham, Swansea 4-4 Fulham).

Swansea have benefitted from five own goals so far this season, more than any other side in the Premier League.

Michael Laudrup's side have conceded the opening goal in their Premier League fixtures 14 times this season, only opponents Fulham have conceded more with 15.

Fulham have gone 18 matches without a draw in the league, winning five and losing 13.

The Cottagers have allowed 141 shots on target against them this season, more than any other team in the top flight.

ODDS…

Swansea to win: 1.72

Fulham to win: 5.9

Draw: 3.95

TV: Highlights on BBC1 on Wednesday at 10.35pm

 

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