Andre Ayew

Andre Ayew

Ghanaians will be waiting in anticipation to find out how their deputy captain Andre Ayew will feature in Swansea City tactical plans when the season kicks off on Saturday.

The Swans take on the champions in a huge opening day test of their readiness to try and emulate last year?s record-breaking season with the new Ghanaian signing a key part of the plans of stunning opponents this season

Gary Monk has already hinted he could be ready to spring a surprise at Stamford Bridge, but just what are the Swans boss? options to take on Chelsea?

Football Correspondent CHRIS WATHAN takes a look at the tactical plans of the coach and how their Ghanaian could feature in the three options likely to be deployed.

THE SELECTIONS

There are a few positions you would assume ? unwanted late injuries aside ? are nailed down.

Four of the back five are seemingly done and dusted with Lukasz Fabianski, Ashley Williams and Federico Fernandez the obvious choices and Kyle Naughton?s game-time against Deportivo suggesting he has got the right-back shirt over Angel Rangel.

At left-back the choice is between Neil Taylor and Franck Tabanou, with the Frenchman?s performance at the weekend a final push after Taylor had looked to be winning the race.

Jack Cork and Ki Sung-Yueng look both certain starters, both completing 90 minutes with Cork anchoring whatever midfield is sent out given Leon Britton has found himself moved down the pecking order.

You would assume there will be room for Ayew regardless of set-up and Bafetimbi Gomis will be the man to play furthest forward as the main goal threat.

That leaves two more spaces to be filled by a string of options from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jonjo Shelvey in midfield, Wayne Routledge, Nathan Dyer and Jefferson Montero out wide or even Eder in attack, all of whom were in the 16 who managed minutes in the final warm-up game with Deportivo.

Swansea City team selector

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OPTION ONE ? Standard Swansea

It?s the system that has been seen at the Liberty through the years and throughout pre-season, although Monk has claimed that is as much to do with it being the best formation to allow best look at his entire squad. It is the system that perhaps gives Swansea their most natural and balanced feel, one based on trying to keep possession as a means of defence as much as attack.

Here you are likely to see the aforementioned five at the back ? with a judgement call at left-back ? and Cork sitting with Ki in the central role. It would then be between Shelvey and Sigurdsson for the advanced middle role, with Shelvey perhaps more of a countering figure if Swansea operate a low block and Sigurdsson the more natural No.10.

It is a system that would encourage wing play and, depending on whether he wants more defensive or offensive thought, it?s a toss-up between the directness of Nathan Dyer, the all-round game of Wayne Routledge and the incredible speed of Jefferson Montero feeding Gomis.

It could see Swansea take the game to Chelsea, which they did so more than most in the first 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge last year, but also could see a like-for-like match up that Mourinho?s men made the most of in that 5-0 Liberty win later in the season.

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OPTION TWO ? The Diamond

This is the system that brought success in a couple of big games last year as Swansea looked to adapt themselves and impose a different game.

It leads to more of a counter attacking style ? as proven against Arsenal and Manchester United ? while pushing the opponents? attack threat down the wings with full-backs left with little obvious midfield support in front of them.

It is with this that there is room for the four central midfielders at the expense of the wingers, Ayew likely to play above Sigurdsson but behind Gomis. Despite not utilising it in pre-season, it might well be the favourite formation to take to West London with a switch to wide play later in the game.

OPTION THREE ? The Curveball

There may be a call for a flatter 4-4-2 with Eder or Ayew a direct running partner with Gomis that catches Chelsea unaware and ties up centre-halves John Terry and Gary Cahill which Shelvey or Sigurdsson could upset with driving runs from midfield.

The danger then is being overrun in the middle of the park with Cesc Fabregas needing to be marshalled as he attempts to pull the strings for the hosts.

The two-pronged attack could come also come with a more standard Swansea middle, be it with a diamond or a flatter three of Cork, Ki and Shelvey, with Sigurdsson operating behind a two in attack, the pace of the wideboys used through subs and switches later on.

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It would again place an emphasis on the full-backs with a narrower three directly in front of them, but it would see Swansea given a strengthin the middle of the park.

It?s not something seen before but Monk has hinted at a ?Plan C? ? though it could be Swansea operating a different style within a familiar formation.

To say he?s keeping his cards close to his chest is putting it lightly, but there will be no hiding place at Stamford Bridge.

What?s obvious, though, is that there is a flexibility and a depth to Swansea not seen before which bodes well for the campaign ahead, regardless of what happens at Chelsea.

Which system would you go for against Chelsea?

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