Forget survival…here are 3 reasons why Swansea can finish in the top-half
Dave Burin | 13 February 2018
Swans in terrific form at present
The top two sides in the Premier League form table have both taken 11 points from the past five games. One is Tottenham Hotspur, and the other is former relegation-favourites Swansea City.
The appointment of Carlos Carvalhal as manager on 28 December has seen the club’s form transform overnight. As well as enjoying a superb league run, they also secured their biggest ever FA Cup win, defeating Notts County 8-1.
Following the side’s stunning turnaround, the Coral News Team think that merely avoiding relegation could just be the beginning. In fact, they’re backing the Swans for a top-half finish. Here’s why…
Defensive strength combined with goals across the park
While some may have assumed the South Wales club’s good form was a flash in the pan, it’s hard to make that argument now. Especially following well-deserved victories over Liverpool and Arsenal.
Having conceded 34 times in their first 22 Prem games of the season, they’ve now let in just three goals in five matches.
Carvalhal has shifted their set-up to a defensive five since arriving. His centre-back trio of Alfie Mawson, Mike van der Hoorn and Federico Fernandez look well-balanced and appear to have a good understanding already.
While they’ve lacked a prolific goalscorer up to now, players throughout the squad are chipping in. In their last six games across all competitions, 12 different players have netted for Swansea. That’s a record the Prem’s biggest clubs would envy.
It’s tight – and sides above them are dropping points
While Manchester City are running away with the league title, everything else in the Premier League is pretty tight. As it stands, a mere four points separate AFC Bournemouth in 10th place from the Swans.
The Swans also have the benefit of a number of sides above of them struggling. Crystal Palace are winless in four games, while each of Watford, Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion have won just one of five.
Carvalhal’s side also have the benefit of a kind fixture list between now and the end of the season. Each of their next four games are against sides in the bottom eight, and they also face bottom club West Bromwich Albion in April.
Carvalhal’s built a system that works
It’s not just the defensive five who are enjoying the fruits of the Portuguese gaffer’s newly-installed 5-4-1 system. So far it’s produced three wins and a draw in four games.
The defensive midfield pairing of Ki Sung-Yueng and Tom Carroll are two tidy but tenacious performers.
Further forward – and out wide – Sam Clucas and Nathan Dyer have the ideal balance. The former offers youthful dynamism and a goal threat, while the experienced 30-year-old is skilful and intelligent.
Striker Jordan Ayew is beginning to enjoy decent service, instead of feeding off of scraps – as he was forced to earlier in the season. While he has room for improvement, four goals in his last nine Prem games is already a decent return.
Swansea to Finish in the Top Half is available at a huge 16/1. And with their good form likely to continue, the Coral News Team think now is the time to back them.
Next up for the South Wales club is a visit to Brighton on Saturday. The Liberty Stadium outfit are 13/5 to Win – and continue their push up the league table.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing