‘Confident’ United travel to Swansea looking to consolidate- PL Week Two Preview

‘Confident’ United travel to Swansea looking to consolidate- PL Week Two Preview

The English Premier League enters match day two this weekend with leaders, Manchester United looking to extend their early lead at the top of the table when they take on Swansea in an early kickoff, at the Liberty Stadium.

After what was an imperious start to the 2017/2018 campaign last weekend, with teams painting the league with goals and more goals, fans are set to be treated and served more of the same, and it’s only fitting that United, who top scored the last time, will kick start match day two.

Swansea, who were involved in the only game during the opening weekend not to see a goal, when they played a goalless draw at Saint Mary’s, welcome United, who hammered the Hammers 4-0 at Old Trafford.

So, can the Swans keep at bay José Mourinho and his rampaging and expensively assembled side?

Well, United may have trampled on West Ham last weekend, but their manager isn’t getting carried away by the result, at least not yet.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on opening day victory over West Ham: “I am too stable and too experienced to lose my discipline and stability and think 4-0 makes us dream team. We are not. We have more confidence than last season.”

Consequently, who can we expect to for both sides today? We start with the home side, Swansea.

Team News:

For manager, Paul Clement and his boys, one player who won’t be involved in the lunch time kick off is Giyfi Sigurdsson, after the Iceland international completed his £45million record more to Everton this week.

The Swans will also be without forward, Fernando Llorente (arm), Nathan Dyer (Achilles) and South Korean midfielder, Ki Sung-Yueng (knee). Leon Britton is also a doubt.

While for their visitors, United, there are no new injury concerns, but Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are stepping up their rehabilitation, as they continue to work on their return.

But Argentine defender, Marco Rojo, remains very far from being back for the Red Devils.

Analysis:

Swansea may have drawn their first game of the season, but they’ve looked invincible at home, having lost just once since January at home. They go into this game bouyed by the fact United have not beaten them at home back-to-back.

But it’s left to be seen how they will manage against United team without Sigurdsson and Llorente.

For United, their opening day win and how it was achieved give them a lot of confidence. In the reverse fixture last season, the Red Devils were 1-3 winners.

While Swansea are unbeaten in their last seven PL matches, Mourinho is yet to lose against today’s opponents, a run that stretches seven matches.
Managers’ Corner:

Paul Clement, Swansea’s boss:

“We are excited. What a game for us first up at home this is.

We had a very good game against Manchester United away from home at the end of last season.

“It’s a different situation now – they are a different team and so are we. They made a very good start to the season while we were not quite at it last weekend.

“But we have confidence because of what we did against Manchester United last season, while the record between these two clubs is quite interesting.

“Our record in the Premier League against Southampton, for example, is not very good, but against United it’s quite encouraging.

“We are looking forward to playing in front of our fans again and hopefully we can do well for them.”

José Mourinho, United’s manager:

“I am calm. When I look to last match, I like many things. The challenge is to repeat the same kind of performance. Good tactical discipline, clean sheet, good football, good dynamic in attack.

“I’m awaiting a difficult match; their first home match and they will fight hard against one of the top teams.”

Match Facts, as provided by Opta:

Manchester United are vying to earn back-to-back away wins in this fixture for the first time.

Swansea have only lost three of their 14 home games against United in all divisions (W8, D3).

The Swans have not kept a clean sheet against Manchester United in 14 meetings since a goalless top-flight draw in December 1982.

Swansea’s current six-match unbeaten run (W4, D2) is their longest in the Premier League since a run of seven games between December 2012 and January 2013.

The Swans have not kept a clean sheet against Manchester United in 14 meetings since a goalless top-flight draw in December 1982.

Clement’s side ended last season with three successive home wins and have only lost once in eight league games at the Liberty Stadium.

Mourinho is unbeaten in all seven matches as a manager against Swansea (W5, D2), winning on all three visits to the Liberty Stadium.

Romelu Lukaku has gone six games without a goal against Swansea in all competitions.

Predicted XI:

Swansea XI [4-2-3-1]: Fabianski; Naughton; Fernandez; Mawson; Olsson; Britton; Fer; Carroll; Rourledge; Ayew; Abraham.

Man Utd XI [ 4-1-2-3] : DDG; Valencia; Bailly; Jones; Blind; Matic; Herrera; Pogba; Mkhitaryan; Lukaku; Rashford.

Prediction:

I expect Swansea to make this a difficult game for Mourinho and United, but the quality the Red Devils have should see them come out at the end with all three points. 1-3.

Elsewhere in the PL, these are the other matches for this Saturday;

Bournemouth vs Watford
Burnley vs WBA
Leicester vs Brighton
Liverpool vs Palace
Southampton vs West Ham
Stoke vs Liverpool

For Super Eagles fans, the match between Leicester and Brighton will be of particular interest, as two of the country’s brightest talents in Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho, a £25m summer signing from Man City, host the PL new boys at the King Power Stadium.

Ndidi and Iheanacho were involved last weekend as Arsenal came from behind to snatch a 4-3 win at the Emirates Stadium in dramatic fashion.

While Ndidi started that encounter, Iheanacho was a second half substitute, as he made his PL debut for the 2016 champions.

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