One of the great myths of the Championship is that a few wins will see a team leapfrog a dozen others in the table. In reality it takes a lot longer than that, it’s just that for the first part of a good run most pundits don’t seem to notice.
We have no greater evidence than Leicester’s current position. The Foxes are just four places higher than when Paulo Sousa departed despite seven points from a possible nine. And whilst the deficit between City and sixth place has been pleasingly reduced from 10 points to eight, City’s climb up the league will be a long and hard one.
There aren’t much tougher places to visit at the moment than the Liberty Stadium. Swansea City are one of five Championship sides yet to taste defeat at home and but for a penalty save from Paddy Kenny could have been the first side to scalp QPR.
Swansea’s goal scoring record has improved on their derisory total from last season. At home Brendan Rodgers’ side are averaging 1.5 goals per game (just below the Championship average of 1.56). This is much better than the 0.91 Swansea fans experienced in 2009/10. Better still, defensive stability hasn’t been sacrificed at the alter of sexy football. Only Coventry City of the six visitors to the Liberty Stadium have so much as scored, and even then they only managed a consolation in a 2-1 defeat.
That said, two successive goalless draws at home to Derby and QPR will have locals worried about one rather sad statistic. In the 21st Century no side in all four divisions has recorded more goalless draws at home in a single season than the eight Swansea managed in 2009/10.
A goalless draw might not be the worst outcome for Leicester. At least it would bring to an end the run of 10 league matches without a clean sheet, and it’s not as if City made great moves to trouble the scoresheet on their last visit to the Liberty Stadium. Last season’s away match at Swansea was Leicester’s worst attacking performance of the campaign. They made just five attempts on goal, none of which hit the target.
If it’s still goalless with twenty minutes to go, you might fancy Leicester to snatch a late winner. Five of the dozen goals that Swansea have conceded this season have come in the final 15 minutes. Smash and grab, anyone?