On 15th April 2022, 14th-placed Swansea City will host 23rd-placed Barnsley in what is a must-win game for the latter in the EFL Championship. The last time these two teams met was back in November 2021, it was the Swans that won 2-0 away at Barnsley, with Olivier Ntcham and Jamie Paterson netting the goals. Coming into this match, Swansea won 2-1 against Derby County at home, and Barnsley were destroyed 1-4 away at Millwall.
Swansea City won their third straight game coming into this match with a 2-1 win against Derby County at home. Joel Piroe scored both the goals for the Swans. This win now means Swansea have a record of 16 wins, nine draws, and 15 losses. The Swans are overperforming going forward this season, according to xG. xG predicted Swansea to score 43 goals, but in reality, they have scored 48, a difference of +5.
Above is the shot map of Swansea City for this season. The Swans have missed only a few goalscoring opportunities that had an xG value of 0.5 or greater. One reason has been the performances in front of goal by Joel Piroe. As of now, he is the league’s fifth-highest goalscorer and obviously, the team’s top goalscorer. In fact, it is even more impressive because xG predicted him to net only nine goals. So, he has doubled his xG output.
Matt Grimes is the leading threat creator for Swansea City this season from both open play and set-pieces. In fact, by observing the xT scores, Grimes has created more than twice the threat created by the next best player. The team’s leader in assists is midfielder Jamie Paterson.
Coming into this game, Barnsley lost their previous match 1-4 to Millwall. Romal Palmer scored a consolation goal for Barnsley. This defeat leaves Barnsley with a record of six wins, 11 draws, and 23 losses. With an xG of 36, Barnsley have the worst attack, and they have underperformed on it by scoring only 30 times, a difference of -6.
Seen in the above visual are the performances of Barnsley relative to the rest of the league. Barnsley have the lowest goals per game ratio of 0.7. They have also performed below average in assists per game, xA per game, and key passes per game.
Swansea City are the favourites to win this game, but Barnsley have higher stakes, as a win will increase their chances of survival in the second division of the English Football League.