Attack the Best Form of Defence at Anfield


It is not the fixture that Garry Monk and his Swansea City side would have wanted given their current run of form.

attackAs pressure mounts on manager and players alike, the Swans will go to Anfield this Sunday, to face a Liverpool side seemingly rejuvenated after their 4-1 at Manchester City last weekend.

And recent history will be against the visitors. During Swansea’s first season back in the top flight in the 2011/12 season, they registered a creditable 0-0 draw at the famous stadium, and famously won 3-1 the following campaign under Michael Laudrup in the League Cup.

Since then, four league and cup visits to Anfield have yielded four defeats, not to mention 15 Liverpool goals.

Therefore, suggesting that come Sunday, attack may well be the best form of defence for the Swans may border on stupidity.

And yet, attacking Liverpool, and accepting the subsequent risks that will come with it, may yet represent Swansea’s best chance of grabbing a much needed, not to mention unexpected, win.

Monk’s men can ill afford to sit deep and invite Liverpool onto them. Defensive displays of late have not been solid enough to gift the likes of Philippe Countinho, Firminio, and Christian Benteke an attacking platform for 90 minutes.

Nor will the Swans have the time to play possession football in their own half. One of the traits of Jurgen Klopp is the pressing game is sides have always played, hounding the opposition and denying them time on the ball.

It was a trait that came to the fore in Liverpool’s recent wins at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad.

Attacking the Reds will invariably leave space at the back, but defensively they are still questionable themselves, and Swansea’s only option is to try and exploit that with a direct and dynamic approach.

Whether it is Bafetimbi Gomis or Eder who starts up front, the lone striker will need support, something both have lacked this campaign. Monk has always been reluctant to start with two outright forwards, but in the absence of the suspended Jonjo Shelvey, either Andre Ayew or Gylfi Sigurdsson must be prepared to surge upfield regularly.

If they don’t, then Martin Skrtel and co get an armchair ride.

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Jefferson Montero, dropped for the recent draw with Bournemouth, has the pace to get at Nathaniel Clyne, or should he switch flanks, the defensively vulnerable Alberto Moreno.

But most importantly of all, the Swans’ build up play must go up a notch. The crisp, flowing passing and movement which signified their early season displays has to return.

Of course, a gung-ho approach has the potential to backfire, but the Swans desperately need a performance, not to mention a result, to spark their season back into life.

And they must have to take risks to get it.