Liverpool will hope they can continue their push for Champions League qualification and perhaps more with a victory this weekend when they welcome Swansea City to Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds may be sitting in fourth place but are only four points behind Chelsea at the top of the table. Brendan Rodgers may be trying to play down Liverpool’s title chances but the players and fans alike will know a win against the Welsh side will keep them in the race.
Meanwhile, new Swansea head coach Garry Monk will be coming up against his former manager and will hope to draw upon an excellent performance against Napoli in the Europa League during the week. The early signs at Swansea under Monk’s leadership have been optimistic and nowhere would it be better to cement this belief than away to the Premier League’s in-form team.
Rodgers had good news for fans at his press conference. Glen Johnson will return from injury and have a place at least on the bench against Swansea this weekend, while Lucas Leiva and Mamadou Sakho are only a week away from full fitness. Jose Enrique however has travelled to America to meet with a knee specialist.
Garry Monk could also have some good news in the form of Michu’s return, should he pass a late fitness test. Kyle Bartley is still out for the foreseeable future however. This game could also see the return of both Jonjo Shelvey and David Ngog to Liverpool since they left the club for Swansea and Bolton respectively.
Liverpool have lost only once at Anfield this season against Southampton back in September.
Daniel Sturridge has scored in seven consecutive Premier League appearances.
The last time the two sides met at Anfield, Liverpool won 5-0.
Brendan Rodgers won 43 of his 96 matches in charge of Swansea City.
Wilfried Bony has yet to score in England this season, despite scoring eight league goals.
Swansea have scored 33 goals this season which is half of Liverpool’s total of 66 goals.
As identified by so many fans and football pundits alike, Sturridge has been in great form the Reds this season, scoring 16 goals in 18 appearances. As mentioned previously, he has scored in his last seven consecutive league games and is currently the second top goal scorer behind his team mate, Luis Suarez. This means the England striker has scored a goal every 89 minutes on average in the league so far and has done so from 57 shots at goal. Of this number, 31 were on target which means that he has a shooting accuracy 54%. He has only managed to convert 28% of his chances but has did much better with his clear-cut chances, converting 10 of the 19 that have come to him. He has also contributed creatively to the team, creating 18 chances of which four ended in assists. Sturridge is very much the in-form striker in the league just now and Swansea will need to do a lot of hard work to stop him.
Bony may have played in four more games than his Liverpool counterpart but has in fact only spent an extra 24 minutes on the pitch. Despite this, the Swansea striker has been unable to match Sturridge in front of goal and has only managed to score eight league goals so far this season. This means he has only managed to score a goal every 180 minutes on average in the league. He has only taken one less shot at goal than Sturridge but with only 21 of these being on target it means that he has a shooting accuracy of just 38%. His chance conversion is significantly poorer as well at just 14% but has managed to convert 50% of his clear-cut chances. Bony has made a slight creative impact on Swansea, creating 15 chances. However, he has only managed to make one assist so far. Bony had a good time in front of goal while in the Netherlands, so the potential is there and that is why Liverpool’s defence cannot be complacent where he is concerned.
Liverpool have been brilliant at home so far this season and have enjoyed some great results recently against Arsenal and Everton. The added incentive of giving them a bigger say in the title race is also an advantage. Swansea have had reason to be optimistic under Monk but they will be tired after their big performance against Napoli in midweek, and so I think this game will finish 3-1 to Liverpool.