Dangermen: Menacing Swansea pair could dismantle Cardiff City

Squawka News

Swansea’s Nathan Dyer (L) and Wayne Routledge

Sunday afternoon sees the first Welsh derby in the Premier League, and the first since Swansea were promoted from the Championship two seasons ago. The hosts, Cardiff, have started their life in the Premier League effectively, if not spectacularly. Their primary aim will be staying in the division and then building on that, something their opponents have done brilliantly.

Swansea come into this derby as the holders of the League Cup (albeit they’re already out) and ninth in the table. Michael Laudrup added a number of faces to the Swansea squad, obviously in an attempt to cope with the Europa League campaign but he’s largely stuck to the same starting XI as last season.

Two players who have blossomed under the Dane’s tutelage are English wingers, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge. The former has long been seen by Swansea fans as a bright spark but the latter’s rise to prominence is far more surprising. When Laudrup took over Routledge didn’t look like anything more than a squad player but he has become a very important member of Swansea’s first-team.

Swansea Top Appearances This Season

Routledge has started every single one of Swansea’s league matches this season and already he has contributed two assists with Michu the only Swans player to have created more chances. It is likely that he’ll start on the left with Dyer on the right, this means he’ll be up against Cardiff’s summer signing Kevin Théophile-Catherine. Picked up from French side Rennes, Théophile-Catherine has played everywhere across the back line in his career and he’s started at Cardiff solidly. He will need to be alert to Routledge’s tendency to cut-inside and at the same time make sure he isn’t cut out by Ben Davies’ tendency to overlap.

Swansea Top Chance Creators This Season

On the opposite flank speed merchant Nathan Dyer will be looking forward to testing himself against Andrew Taylor. The full-back has started every game since the season’s opener but whilst he is a very useful player he is not a Premier League standard player. Dyer is quick, tricky and he’s worked hard on improving the technical side of his game, on his day he’s a real handful.

Nathan Dyer Heat Map v West Ham

Dyer likes to hug the touchline and although he does enjoy cutting inside, more recently he has a free roaming role in the Swansea team. Taylor will be tasked with tracking Dyer whilst observing the runs of Angel Rangel. Dyer is just behind Routledge with ten chances created (as opposed to his team-mates’ 12) and these two will be key in causing problems for the Cardiff defence.

Cardiff are the home side and because it is the derby their fans will want an attacking display from their team. This would suggest that Swansea could end up playing a counter-attacking game and this will suit Routledge and in particular Dyer. Cardiff have every right to go for the game but if they aren’t careful they could end up getting torn to pieces by Swansea’s wide men.

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Edited by Staff Editor


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