EPL Season Preview: Swansea City

Guidolin francesco (1)Coach: Francesco Guidolin

2015/16 Finish: 12

2016/17 Preseason Ranking: 12

Sportify Rating: 1521

2015/16 Wagebill: £83M

Stadium Capacity: 20,520 at Liberty Stadium

Departures: Kyle Bartley (Leeds); Oliver Davies (Kilmarnock); Eder (Lille); Matt Grimes (Leeds); Bafetimbi Gomis (Marseille); Kenji Gorre (Northampton); Raheem Hanley (Northampton); Alberto Paloschi (Atalanta); Liam Shephard (Yeovil)

Arrivals: Mark Birighitti (Newscastle Jets); George Byers (Watford); Leroy Fer (QPR); Tyler Reid (Manchester United); Mike van der Hoorn (Ajax)

The good: Momentum

After taking eight points from their first four games, Swansea hit a serious dip in form that saw them sitting 18th as late as January 18, when new manager Francesco Guidolin took over. That was a clear turning point in their season as their goals per game went from 0.9 to 1.4; they were the 8th best team in the league from that point forward in terms of points haul. In the final months of the season, Swansea beat Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham and earned a draw against Man City. With no real losses in the transfer window, Swansea will look to pick up right where they left off last year.

The bad: Creation

While the Guidolin effect was great on results (goals per game went up 0.5 and the Swans eventually finished 12th), the change in xG wasn’t there. The xG stayed flat at 1.0 per game, while xG conceded per game went up from 1.2 to 1.5. Obviously results are what count, and Guidolin achieved results last season, but the lack of change in the xG numbers means that strong form could be harder to maintain in the upcoming season.