Steve Cooper switched Swansea to a three-back lineup. Their favorite formation in attacking is 3-4-1-2 but after losing the ball the team moves very quickly to the 5-3-2 formation, entrusting the forwards with the task of exerting immediate pressure on their opponent to delay their action.
In the face of a positional attack Swansea has a tendency to line up 5-2-1-2 with the intention of pushing the opponent sideways and closing the space in the center of the pitch. They are great at stopping crosses and playing in the air, so they prefer to have opponents on the flanks.
In the first phase of a positional attack, they use the 3-1 structure. The three center-backs line up very wide, while full-backs move forward creating passing options on the wings and stretching the opponent’s formation. Pivot stands high behind his opponent’s first line of pressure and shows up looking for a clear space across the width of the pitch. When he doesn’t find it or is individually locked, the other midfielders move into space next to pivot to create more play options.
Swansea likes to have the ball and control the game in the opponent’s half. Thanks to their patient play and high positioned second line, they force their rivals to a deep defensive. Cooper places emphasis on maximizing width. Positional attacks on the wings are a constant pattern in their play.