Swansea tonight and the opportunity to close the gap at the top to four points for a good fifteen minutes at least – Chelski’s match against Mike Dean kicks off a quarter of an hour later than ours.
Hans Christian Eriksen
Not as easy as it sounds though unfortunately. Since Paul Clement arrived in January the ugly ducklings have truly transformed into Swans. A defence that had as many holes as a White House twitter accusation is now organised, together and solid. New personnel, Mawson, Olsson, Tom Carroll (!) and a consistency of selection have serendipitously coincided with Fernando Llorente finding his range and what was, pre Christmas, a hopeless case with the family gathered round is now in the recovery room flirting with the nurses and confidently picking solids off the menu.
The Spanish Andy Carroll (insert winking emoji) missed Saturday’s goalless draw with Middlesbrough with one of the Ayews deployed in his place to no good effect. We should anticipate this not to be the case tonight, Llorente will be trundled out and be expected to thrust his dome ballwards at every opportunity. Behind him we should not forget about the excellent Sigurdsson, who would have scored at WHL in December if Hugo had not been at his brilliant best but elsewhere there my be little to trouble us. So, the focus then turns to, can we score?
Of course we can!
It just won’t be easy against this newly confident side. Despite our success in the second half at Turf Moor we have been much more free scoring with the three at the back formation and thus we should hope that Victor Wanyama’s ailment is not a serious one. If he is able to take his place alongside Dembélé then we have the platform we need to put pressure on the home side’s back line. If not, then it’ll be Dier in midfield and a more cautious approach from our full backs (expect Walker to return) leading to less opportunities to attack from wide. Son should start ahead of Janssen.
The sad news about Winks means that we can expect to see a lot more of Sissoko and Onomah than we probably would’ve expected to in the coming weeks.
Jonathan Moss is the ref.
Audere est Facere.
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