Manchester United’s season has not gone according to the plan so far, with many lackluster performances deservedly shadowing the few good performances that they have put in. They go to Wales in search of form when they take on Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday. Coming on the back of a disheartening defeat at Fenerbahce in the Europa League mid-week, Mourinho’s men will be keen to reverse the trend to stop their slide down the footballing pecking order.
Swansea, on the other hand, themselves have not been in great form so far in the season and currently sit in the 19th spot and 5 points away from safety. Having lost 4 of their last 5 games in the League, the Welsh club looks set for a long relegation battle ahead. However, with Manchester United not the force they once were, the match on Sunday could be a day the Swans get back to the winning ways.
Bob Bradley has not had the best of starts to his managerial stints at the Liberty Stadium. However, he is set to continue with his preferred formation of 4-2-3-1 as he seeks defensive solidarity in the middle of the park to enforce the game in his side’s favor. In what can be termed as good news for the club, Jefferson Montero is expected to feature in the game, though he might be restricted to play a bit part role in the game.
Up front, Fernando Llorente is expected to lead the line-up ahead of his Spanish teammate Borja Baston in a bid to add to his side’s attacking firepower.
Fabianski, Naughton, Der Hoorn, Mawson, Kingsley, Fer, Sung-Yueng, Barrow, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Llorente.
To rub salt into the wounds of Manchester United, the side is now involved in a mini crisis as they struggle with injuries and suspensions. The side will be without Ander Herrera who is suspended for the game, while the likes of Antonio Valencia and Eric Bailly remain sidelined due to their long term injuries. To add to the club’s woes, Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling remain doubtful for the important game.
The injury to Pogba and Herrera’s suspension means Michael Carrick could be in contention for a starting role on Sunday alongside Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin.
However, it is their lackluster performances in front of the goal that has truly enraged the Manchester United faithful and it remains to be seen if Jose Mourinho persists with the misfiring Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the game.
De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Mata, Rashford, Ibrahimovic
While the Iceman might have had a rather underwhelming start to the season thus far, he remains Swansea’s best bet to eke out a positive result against Manchester United. Renowned for his creativity, link-up play and abilities in and around the box, he could be a handful to handle for the Red Devils, especially with the side struggling to contain teams defensively. Sigurdsson has created 15 chances in 10 appearances so far and has also found the back of the net on 2 occasions and would be keen to add to those numbers on Sunday.
The player has built a reputation for being a constant threat in and around the box and should he find time and space on the ball, he could have a devastating effect on the game, especially from a set-piece.
The biggest issue that has plagued Manchester United’s season so far is their inability to complete break down defenses. The side found the back of the net just once in the month of October and as a result, have slipped to the 8th spot in the League table.
One man who could do the side a world of good is former Chelsea man Juan Mata. Despite being expected to be sidelined post the appointment of Jose Mourinho as the manager, the Spaniard has actually surprised many football fans and is currently believed to be in long-term plans of the Portuguese.
A skillful player who makes space and time for himself in a critical position, Mata could benefit from playing in the number 10 role and play the perfect ally to the likes of Lingard, Ibrahimovic and Rashford.
- The two sides have met on 27 occasions in the past, with Manchester United enjoying a slight advantage over the Welsh club having won 12 times compared to Swansea’s 10 victories.
- Swansea have proven to be a tough team to beat for the Red Devils, having won 3 of the last 5 games that the teams were involved in.
- There has been just a solitary draw between the two sides in the Premier League and we expect the trend to continue on Sunday.
Given the wretched form of the clubs, involved in the game, the game that has caught the imagination of millions of fans worldwide in the recent history has lost its sheen and we expect it to be a dull affair with Manchester United eking out a 2-1 victory over Swansea.