Spurs Clash Now Crucial For the Swans

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THREE Premier League games without a win, a drop into the bottom half of the table, and a League Cup exit at the hands of Championship side Hull.

spursCrisis? Far from it. But Saturday’s tame defeat at Southampton has now made Swansea City’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur at the Liberty Stadium a crucial one ahead of the international break.

Ironically, the last time the Swans were given respite from domestic action for the same reason, things could not have been going better. A 2-1 over Manchester United had cemented their unbeaten start to the season, and propelled them into the top four.

But should Garry Monk’s side suffer defeat at home to a rejuvenated Spurs on Saturday, a team who have notched three wins and a draw in the four league visits to the Liberty, it will round off a miserable three weeks for the South Wales side.

Of course, Monk is not the type to press the panic button, and quite rightfully, has publicly rebuffed any suggestion of a slump. But deep down, his side’s recent lack of penetration and dynamism in attack, a prominent feature in their early season games, will concern him.

The tame defeat at Watford saw the Swans fail to seriously threaten late on despite pressing against 10 men, while chances came and wastefully went against both Hull and Everton.

There was a late rally against Southampton, and flashes of his best from the thus far below par Gylfi Sigurdsson – but in reality, the contest was all over after an hour.

Indeed, Monk’s decision to haul off top scorer Bafetimbi Gomis at half time, in favour of Eder who is yet to strike in a Swansea shirt, clearly indicated his frustration at the lack of goal threat.

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Andre Ayew, a revelation in the first four league matches, was again prominent on Saturday – but crucially, the vast majority of his work came from deep, as opposed to in the danger area in support of Gomis or Eder.

Another to earn rave reviews in the opening month, Jefferson Montero, appears to still be struggling for full fitness following his thigh injury picked up on the eve of the clash with United.

All these issues are conundrums Monk will want solved on Sunday against a Spurs side buzzing from their surprise 4-1 win over Manchester City.

And while a win would go some away to undoing the recent damage of the last three games and performances, defeat will see the Swans head into the international break with much to ponder.

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