No team will envy Swansea this weekend as they travel to the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City’s last two home games have ended in 7-0 and 6-0 wins against Norwich and Tottenham. They have been playing some incredible stuff at home and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if they managed to win all of their home matches this season. It will take something special to even take a point away from Manchester. Although the Premier League has been so unpredictable this season that Swansea could well go and get a positive result on Sunday. The Welsh side will take the game to the Citizens which means that goals will be likely at either end.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side have had a Jekyll and Hyde start to the season. While they are superb at home, they have been very poor away from home which they will need to solve if they are to win the league. They are currently in fourth place, but they are already six points off Arsenal so they can’t afford any more slip ups in the immediate future. City have already got Champions League qualification tied up so they can focus on the league over the next two months, which will be welcomed by Pellegrini. Their summer signings have settled in now as Fernandinho, Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo all impressed against Tottenham. Everything is in place for Manchester City to win their second Premier League title.
Swansea have done well recently, picking up 8 points from their last 5 games. They won last weekend against Fulham thanks to a great goal from Jonjo Shelvey. The Welsh side have yet to reach the heights of last season but they are in a good position in tenth. Considering they have to Europa League to deal with, they are doing well, albeit they are already five points off the top nine who are pulling away from the rest. Swansea will be aiming to finish in the top ten and they should be able to do that.
In last season’s fixture, Manchester City only came out on top 1-0 with Carlos Tevez grabbing the winner. There will certainly be more goals this weekend as the home side have found their scoring boots in the last few weeks. In the 2011/12 campaign, Manchester City ran out 4-0 winners in Swansea’s first match as a Premier League club. Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero (2) and David Silva scored the goals on that occasion. Swansea have fared better in Wales against the 2011/12 champions. They beat them 1-0 two years ago, while last season the match was goalless.
Manchester City have scored more goals at home per game than any team at this point of the season since Sunderland 1935-36. In that season Sunderland won the title.
Swansea have benefited from more own goals than any other club in the Premier League this season. They have been helped by 3 own goals so far.
Sergio Aguero is currently leading the scoring charts with ten goals and he will be looking to add to that on Sunday. He has returned to the form that he showed in his first season here and if he keeps it up, he could be a genuine contender for Player of the Year. The Argentine has also made chances for his team-mates, contributing four assists to go alongside his impressive goal tally. His shooting accuracy (72%) and chance conversion (31%) are both excellent. The only slight concern is that he is missing more clean cut chances than he is scoring. He has only scored 5 from 13 clear cut chances, which he will need to improve on, especially away from home. This does show that the midfielders are creating plenty of chances for Aguero as many would expect given the amount of talent in the City squad.
Swansea will be boosted by the return of Michu this weekend after his spell on the sidelines. The forward came back to full training in the week so is expected to play a part at the Etihad Stadium. Last season, he showed himself to be Swansea’s key man, but he is yet to return to that form this campaign. He will be hoping that in the coming weeks, he can find that form again as Swansea try to move up the table into the top eight. Some of the goal-scoring responsibility has been taken off the Spaniard this season with Wilfried Bony joining the club. Michu has only managed to score two so far this season with a chance conversion of just 10%, but that should increase over the coming weeks as he reaches his best form again. He appears to relish matches against the bigger clubs and Sunday will excite him. If Swansea are to get something out of the match, they will need Michu to be on top form.
Matija Nastasic and Vincent Kompany could be fit for the weekend’s fixture which is a huge boost for Pellegrini. He will be glad to have his captain back and will be hoping that he can stay injury free for the rest of the season. Jack Rodwell (hamstring), Stevan Jovetic and David Silva (both calf) are still expected to be missing on Sunday but all are closing in on a return. Joe Hart returned in the Champions League match on Wednesday but it is unknown if he will make his Premier League comeback on Sunday. John Guidetti was on the bench last weekend and the Swede will be itching to get some match time. This fixture could provide the best opportunity for him to get some.
Michu returned to training this week so he is expected to feature at the weekend. Wilfried Bony is expected to miss up after picking up an injury against Valencia on Thursday. Álvaro Vázquez could replace him if Laudrup doesn’t consider Michu fit enough to start the match. Pablo Hernandez was on the bench in the Europa League after his thigh injury and Wayne Routledge could also be back for the weekend. Gary Monk remains on the sidelines. Jonjo Shelvey will remain in the midfield after his great match winning goal against Fulham last weekend.
It’s impossible to see past a Manchester City win considering their incredible home form. I don’t think they will score as many as they have done in the last two matches, but they should be able to get the three points. Swansea will be tired after their Europa League match against Valencia on Thursday. The last team they will want to play with tired legs is Manchester City as they have the ability to carve every side open with ease, fatigue will only make it easier for them. I expect the away side to grab a goal but it won’t be enough to get anything from the match.
3-1 Manchester City
We’ll leave you with an excellent info-graphic from @we_r_pl previewing this game: