|DATE||Sunday 19th January 2014|
Swansea City have found it hard this season, juggling their duties
in the Europa League with their Premier League responsibilities. It
is always an issue, with games coming thick and fast, with the depth
of the squad being tested to the limit.
It is a problem that has plagued Spurs, both in the past and currently, but at the moment, the European competition is in mothballs until February and with a defeat in the FA Cup, Tottenham can concentrate on the league. Swansea still have the complication of the FA Cup, after beating Manchester United, but their need to do well in the Premier League is just as pressing, but with concerns over the other end of the table.
Michael Laudrup has said that he has four “tie-breakers” coming up against Fulham, West ham, Cardiff and Stoke City, ignoring this match in the process. I wonder if he has given up on it before it begins ?
The Welsh side has many players who have attracted attention from elsewhere, but they have not functioned in the effective way that the team had in previous seasons. The ball retention is still there, but the finishing of Michu has not been as prolific and injuries have hit the side in crucial positions.
Ben Davies has been a bright spot at left back, with Nathan Dyer providing moments of attacking on the flank, but he will be missing as he is on the injured list, along with a number of other Swansea players. In Dyer's absence, former Spur Wayne Routledge has stepped in and put in some good performances, with Wilfried Bony stepping into Michu's boots and he has scored some important goals. The Ivorian is rangy and good in the air, as well as being decent with the ball at his feet, so he will be a threat as the Swans go looking for vital points.
Goalkeeper Michel Vorm is still ruled out, meaning another outing for Gerhard Tremmell, who is a good keeper, but his shot-stopping is due to be tested and Spurs will do well to make sure their efforts are on target and that they follow them in, as he has been known to spill shots.
With captain Ashley Williams returning to the side, the leader has given the side a boost, but there is a weakness in his game in that he tends to lose his bearings sometimes and the man he was supposed to be marking gets a chance to slip away from him. Soldado might be able to make the most of such opportunities if given the right supply.
Alongside him, Chico Flores may feature, with injuries hitting the Welsh side. Angel Rangel could take the right back role on the opposite side to Davies, with both full backs liking to get forward. As Spurs may have Townsend fit, Sherwood could play two quick men to start and push the Swansea wide players deeper, thus blunting their attacking options. Flores is a hot-head and can dive into tackles, get involved in confrontations and lose his positional sense, giving away free-kicks in dangerous situations. With the need to keep clean sheets, his involvement could put that at risk.
The Swansea midfield is likely to consist of Lamah, Wayne Routledge, Jonjo Shelvey and Leon Britton. Lamah and Routledge are likely to provide the attacking options, while Britton will sit in front of the back four and pass the ball all day, having Shelvey to shuttle back and forth, causing mayhem at both ends. Shelvey was shipped out of Liverpool and found a spiritual home at Swansea, but his decision making is not always what it should be with dodgy back-passes or trying a trick in the wrong place. Routledge has found a new lease of life at the Liberty Stadium, producing some form which he didn't have the chance to do when he was at Tottenham and Lamah will work the other line having returned from injury. It is a role that Tiendalli can fill if needed.
And up front, the impact that Michu made has waned and ended in injury, leaving new signing Wilfried Bony to carry the goal-scoring burden, which he has done well. His contribution has not been heavy, but he plays a lone role up front and there will be a flooding of the midfield (just like the rain of the past few weeks) to try and stifle Tottenham's attacks. Pozuelo came in from Real Betis and is a young player who likes to go forward, possibly playing in a three just behind Bony.
Spurs are finding some pattern to their play, with Eriksen featuring in a more involved role and the side looking more fluent going forward, which has resulted in more goals, but the speed that they move the ball could still be increased and this would heap more pressure on the opposition, as it did last season. This may come in time, but for Head Coach Tim Sherwood time is not on his side, as he is seeking immediate results to persuade Daniel Levy that he is the man for the job.
Recent league losses to the two Manchester clubs and a draw with Aston Villa has seen the clubs below them close the gap. They will be hoping for points in their upcoming games, but this one might just go against them.
|PREDICTION||Swansea City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
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|SWANSEA CITY TEAM NEWS :|
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City 1 (0) Tottenham Hotspur
Sunday 19th January 2014 Kick off 13:30
Flores (o.g.) 53
Amat (foul on Chiriches) 49
Bony (foul on Chiriches) 68
Rose (kicking ball away) 80
|Crowd : 20,769||Weather : - Dry, sunny with a slight chill|
|Referee : Martin Atkinson (South Yorkshire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. H. Lennard; Mr. M. McDonough|
|Fourth Official : Mr. G. Scott||-|
|Swansea City kicked off and played towards the North Stand end in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 8 mins.|
|Swansea City :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
2 Jordi AMAT
Aaron LENNON (16 Kyle NAUGHTON)
|Manager : Michael Laudrup||Manager : Tim Sherwood|
|Sponsor : GWFX||Shirt sponsor : Hewlett Packard|
|Kit Supplier : adidas||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
Tottenham's lunch-time trip to
the Liberty Stadium brought a welcome three points, in what is
becoming a happy habit away from home, but the 3-1 score-line was
not reflective of the game, where Spurs could have had more goals
and Swansea City were plunged into four important up-coming games
against teams at the bottom end of the table.
The Heathrow Spur
|Match ball sponsors||-|
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Crystal Palace||1||Stoke City||0||Saturday|
|Manchester City||4||Cardiff City||2||Saturday|
|Norwich City||1||Hull City||0||Saturday|
|West Ham United||1||Newcastle United||3||Saturday|
|West Bromwich Albion||1||Everton||1||Monday|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||22||4||10||8||24||29||22||-5|
|18||West Ham United||22||4||6||12||22||33||18||-11|
Position before match :
Position after match : 5th
Position after the weekend : 5th
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