Swansea v Charlton
Thursday January 2, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports
Swansea frustrated last time out
Swansea were held to a frustrating 0-0 home draw by struggling Barnsley in their most recent outing on Sunday. The Welsh outfit created the clearer opportunities, but their failure to find a finish means Steve Cooper's side have now won only two of their last 10 Liberty Stadium league games as they dropped out of the Championship play-off places.
The showdown against Barnsley was the first goalless game at the Liberty under Cooper's watch and the Swans required an improvement after being second-best in the opening half hour. Swansea did eventually begin to stir with Bersant Celina in menacing form in possession, and Sam Surridge, Andre Ayew and George Byers being denied opening goals.
Post-match Cooper admitted the final score was difficult to take, saying, "Frustration is the overriding feeling. We had talked about needing to be clinical and productive in moments but we did not take those chances. We did have chances and the keeper made some good saves, but we are disappointed as we backed ourselves to score and win the game."
Charlton fail to show at Pride Park
Lee Bowyer said his Charlton side got exactly what they deserved in Monday night's 2-1 loss at Derby. Goals from Jason Knight in each half secured victory for the Rams, who were down to 10 men early on following Krystian Bielik's dismissal. Lyle Taylor's penalty made it 2-1 in the closing stages, but the Addicks boss did not feel that added any gloss to the display.
Bowyer said: "We were poor from start to finish. We were out-battled and out-fought. We were second to all the second balls. We got what we deserved - nothing from the game. We weren't good enough. It's as simple as that. Too many people were hiding. The first shot we had on target was the penalty and defensively we've conceded another two goals."
Despite playing against 10 men for over 70 minutes, the Addicks only really threatened in the final 10 minutes of the game, and have won just once in 13 matches to slip to seven points above the relegation zone. To make matters worse, Macauley Bonne suffered a hamstring injury and will miss Thursday's match, while no current injured players will return in time.
Swans firm and fair favourites
Swansea came from behind to triumph 2-1 at The Valley when the two teams crossed swords in early October, the first meeting between the duo for almost 10 years. The Welsh outfit boast an unbeaten four-game record when welcoming Charlton (W3-D1-L0) in recent encounters, although that four-match sample dates way back to 1964.
Swansea 1.594/7 have proven capable operators at collecting points against sides outside of the Championship's play-off positions. Steve Cooper's charges have earned W9-D7-L2 in outings against sides in seventh and below, although the hosts have only managed W2-D3-L5 at the Liberty Stadium since August with seven of those 10 contests against sides below sixth.
Newly-promoted Charlton 5.905/1 began life back in the second-tier superbly, securing 14 points from a possible 18 (W4-D2-L0). But the Addicks have slowly regressed as injuries and selection woes have taken hold; Athletic have returned W3-D5-L11 since September's international break, conceding at least two goals in 13 of those 19 league outings.
Goals expected at the Liberty
Swansea's showdowns have been largely unremarkable for goals-based backers this season despite underlying performance data expecting higher-scoring games. The Swans' encounters are averaging 1.85 Expected Goals (xG) from open play per-game - the third-highest figure in the division behind Fulham (2.02) and Barnsley (1.98).
Charlton's contests have also largely proven enjoyable affairs, especially in recent months. The Addicks' away days are averaging 3.00 goals per-game with 9/12 (75%) breaking the Over 2.5 Goals barrier and 9/12 (73%) also collecting for Both Teams To Score backers. Twelve of Athletic's past 16 games across all venues have also paid out for BTTS hunters.