Sunday will see two of the league’s unbeaten sides come head to head in South Wales as Swansea City host Manchester United. Although both have avoided defeat so far, Swansea will be happier about their start to the season as they have been playing some excellent football. Meanwhile, Manchester United have yet to hit top form and have struggled to create clear cut chances, which will be a concern for Louis van Gaal. It will be an interesting test for Manchester United as they are coming into the game off the back of a trip to Belgium and they will be facing one of the most dynamic attacks in the division.
The home side have had a brilliant start to the season. They have only won one of their three matches, but their performances have been breathtaking at times. The combination of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Ayew, Jefferson Montero and Bafetimbi Gomis will cause every side in this division problems. On the opening day, Swansea went to the Champions and were unlucky to only take one point from the match and they will want to give a similar performance this weekend. Manchester United have looked solid at the back so far, but the pace and skill in the Swansea front four will give them their toughest test to date.
Manchester United have faced a lot of criticism following their disappointing draw to Newcastle in the league. On the day, they lacked the cutting edge and their inability to get past Newcastle will give every side in the league encouragement. Their attacking woes have been obvious in the opening three matches as the Red Devils have only scored two league goals, one of which was an own goal. It is a growing concern and their performances against Club Brugge will give the squad some much needed confidence in the final third. Wayne Rooney has been criticised by many this month, but he showed in midweek that he still possesses a lot of quality as he bagged a hat-trick in Belgium.
Last season Swansea completed their first league double over Manchester United. In the corresponding fixture, Swansea managed to win 2-1. Ki Sung-yueng and Gomis bagged the goals for the Swans. Ander Herrera scored for Manchester United. Meanwhile at Old Trafford, Swansea inflicted defeat on Louis van Gaal in his first match in charge of Manchester United. Ki Sung-yueng and Gylfi Sigurdsson scored for Swansea, while Wayne Rooney netted for the hosts.
- Jonjo Shelvey has created the most chances in the Premier League so far with 13. The midfielder could be on the verge of a return to the England squad.
- Wayne Rooney ended a 878 minute goal drought in all competitions on Wednesday, before going onto score a hat-trick.
The Frenchman had a tough start to his Swansea career last season as he couldn’t get past Wilfried Bony in the pecking order. However, after Bony was sold, Gomis has gone from strength to strength and he is now a striker to be feared. His record has always been impressive, but there were doubts about whether he could transfer his form from Ligue 1 to England. He has scored in each of Swansea’s opening three matches, and many are tipping him to go on and score between 15 to 20 goals this season. Gomis suits Swansea’s system as his movement creates space for both himself and the three attacking midfielders behind him. His goal against Newcastle highlighted this movement as he timed his run to perfection to get past the back four and score past Tim Krul. His aerial ability is also impressive and makes him difficult to deal with. He will cause Manchester United problems this weekend, especially if they opt to play Daley Blind in the back four once again. Last weekend, the Dutchman looked vulnerable in the air and Gomis could capitalise on that this weekend.
Memphis Depay is a very exciting player, who could develop into a world class player at Old Trafford. The fans will have to be patient with the attacker as it is a massive transition from the Eredivisie to the Premier League. His decisions in the final third have been questionable in the opening three matches, but that is something that will get better with minutes. Manchester United fans got a glimpse of Depay’s ability in the Champions League play off against Club Brugge. It is now time for the Dutchman to show his quality in the Premier League and that could come this weekend. The attacker is dangerous in the final third when he is running with the ball, as he has the ability to cut inside and unleash rockets from distance. Meanwhile, Depay also has the ability to play through balls and go to the byline to deliver crosses. He is difficult to deal with when he has the ball as he has a number of parts to his game. In Holland, he was best known for his ability to score goals and he will be hoping that continues in England. This weekend could be the arrival of Memphis in England.
Swansea have no injury concerns going into this match and will have a full squad to choose from. Ki Sung-yueng could be back in the starting eleven after picking up a knock on the opening day. Nathan Dyer and Matt Grimes both scored in the Capital One Cup and could be pushing for some action this weekend. Frank Tabanou was also very impressive in midweek and is pushing Neil Taylor for the left-back spot.
Adnan Januzaj will be missing after picking up an injury in the week. Phil Jones is also a few weeks away from a return to the first team picture. Ander Herrera was very good in the Champions League and he could start this weekend to add some much needed creativity. Michael Carrick will also be hoping for a recall after starting from the bench against Newcastle.
If you fancy Swansea to win this weekend, you can get odds of 12/5 with Paddy Power. Manchester United have odds of 13/10 with Betfair. If you think the match will end in a draw, you can get odds of 12/5 with Unibet.
It will be an entertaining game of football as both are blessed with some excellent attacking players. Swansea won’t sit back and will want to impress like they did against Chelsea on the opening day. The pace and power that they have in the front four will cause Manchester United a lot of problems. The away side have yet to concede a goal, but I expect that to change this weekend. Manchester United will go into this match under the microscope and it will be a serious test of their title ambitions. I think it will be a close game, but Swansea have enough to beat Manchester United for the third time in a row.
Swansea 2-1 Manchester United