16 March 2015, 20.00 GMT
Swansea will welcome Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday night and hope they can end their opponents’ unbeaten run in the league in 2015.
Team News & Tactics
Swansea come into this game after a 3-2 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, but will not be in a dejected mood as they performed well against Spurs and could easily have rescued at least a point but for Hugo Lloris’s heroics. The Swans also came from a goal behind to beat Manchester United 2-1 in their last home game. The home side, therefore, is in decent form at the moment.
Bafetimbi Gomis is likely to be available for this game. He will return to the team after collapsing during the 3-2 defeat at Tottenham on March 4. He returned to training on Wednesday and is expected to return to the squad and feature against the Reds. Swansea manager Garry Monk more-or-less has a full-strength squad to choose from. Only defender Kyle Bartley remains unavailable following knee surgery.
It will be a big task for Monk’s side to get something from the game because the Reds are doing so well at the moment. However, it is not an impossible one as Blackburn Rovers also showed they can stop the Liverpool side from having an effective game. Swansea will have to ensure that their opponents don’t get enough space and time on the ball. Liverpool thrive in counter-attacks and have a swift playing style so if they are not given enough space to exploit, their biggest strength can become redundant. It might be a defensive approach but if the hosts don’t let Liverpool press the game, therefore stay mostly in their half, they might be able to frustrate them and capitalize on a mistake made by them. Swansea will also have to ensure Philippe Coutinho is identified as the danger man and is shut out. The Brazilian is currently Liverpool’s best playmaker and if he is kept away from the ball and/or is not given enough space and time on it, his threat is minimized and the Reds would not be able to thrive.
Possible starting lineup(4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Taylor, Fernandez, Williams, Naughton; Ki, Shelvey; Routledge, Sigurdsson, Cork; Emnes
Liverpool are currently flying in the league and are undefeated in the league in 2015. They have won against top 4 challengers Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur and second placed Manchester City in three of their last four games. They come into this game at the back of a disappointing stalemate against Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.
Brendan Rodgers will be boosted with the return of Steven Gerrard who has missed the last seven games with a hamstring injury, but is expected to feature against Swansea City at some point of time. Joe Allen is also fit to feature in this game and has impressed in Lucas and Gerrard’s absence so the former Swansea man might start the game with Gerrard coming on in the second half. Martin Skrtel was stretched off with concussion against Blackburn, but is fit and expected to play on Monday. The Northern Irishman will have to make a call on whether to continue Lovren in defence or start Sakho. While Sakho is a much better choice, out of form Lovren has been getting in good touch recently and a run of games could do him a wealth of good and he might finally show why the Reds made him the club’s most expensive defender ever. Alberto Moreno is likely to come back into the team. The Spaniard has put on some very good performances recently and has been solid on the left-flank. Raheem Sterling could start as right wing-back with Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho playing behind Raheem Sterling. Or, Markovic could start on the flanks and Lallana is dropped to the bench.
Liverpool would want to win this game if they want to keep their top 4 challenge going, and ensure they have the favorable momentum as they approach their next two tough Premier League games against Manchester United and Arsenal.
Possible starting lineup (3-4-2-1): Mignolet; Can, Skrtel, Lovren; Markovic, Henderson, Allen, Moreno; Sterling, Coutinho; Sturridge.
- Daniel Sturridge has scored four goals in three Premier League appearances for Liverpool against the Swans.
- Swanseaa s only victory over Liverpool in the Premier League came when Rodgers was boss of the Welsh side (W1 D3 L3) and he remains unbeaten in this fixture as a coach (W4 D3).
- Jonjo Shelvey has netted in the last three league matches between Liverpool and Swansea as a Swans player, though the last of these was an own goal.
- Brendan Rodgersa side have won more points in 2015 than any other Premier League team (23).
Player to watch out for
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea)
The Iceland attacking midfielder recently said that he was right to snub Liverpool in favor of Tottenham Hotspur. He would want to take this opportunity to add salt to the wounds of the Reds and has been in impressive form this season. If Swansea are to get anything out of this game, Sigurdsson will be the key player for them.
Swansea 1 Liverpool 2
Liverpool are on a fantastic run in the league, having won seven of their last eight matches a and drawing the other. Expect this run to continue but for Swansea to also fight till the end.