Swansea City welcome top of the league Manchester United to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, where the Swans will look to knock the Red Devils off their perch.
Swansea took a point from their first match of the season, but it was hardly a convincing performance. They failed to get a shot on target in 90 minutes and were outshot 29 to four in total. The Swans now have to find a way to stop the full throttle attack that Manchester United put on show against West Ham on Sunday where they won 4-0. Swansea will have to do that without the likes of their main two offensive weapons from last season as Gylfi Sigurdsson was officially sold earlier in the week and Fernando Llorente is out with an injury.
United’s performance on Sunday got their season off to the ideal start. Romelu Lukaku bagged a brace in his debut, Paul Pogba scored a screamer, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan looked more like the player he was at Borussia Dortmund than the one he was last season. Now they’re top of the league and only have to beat a shorthanded Swansea City to stay there.
- Fernando Llorente, Ki Sung Yueng, and Nathan Dyer are all out for Swansea with an arm, knee, and Achilles injury respectively.
- Manchester United will be without Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, and Marcos Rojo with a hamstring problem, joint injury, and an ACL injury respectively.
Swansea City: Tom Carroll
In Swansea’s great escape last season they bought a handful of new players in January. One of the best additions they made was 25 year-old midfielder Tom Carroll. After being hyped up at Tottenham for years, Carroll left Spurs permanently to return to South Wales after he spent a season on loan at Swansea in 2014-2015. He scored a goal and assisted two more in his half season at Swansea. He’ll need to step up and outdo Paul Pogba, but if he can play the way he played last season he has a chance.
Manchester United: Paul Pogba
While Carroll had a good half season last year, Paul Pogba has had enough good seasons to at one point become the world’s most expensive player. The Frenchman is one of the best midfielders in the world and now has the freedom to do what he wants with the addition of Nemanja Matic . If Pogba plays the way he’s capable of, Swansea stand little chance of stopping United in midfield.
It’s hard to see Swansea winning this one. They may be at home, but United looked borderline unstoppable on Sunday and Swansea are without their leading goalscorer from last season and they’ve just lost their best player in Sigurdsson. United had a propensity for dropping points to sides at the other end of the table, but that looks unlikely for this weekend.
Prediction: 3-0 United
That’s not the issue.