Manchester United will look to repeat their excellent performance against West Ham last week as they travel to South Wales to take on Swansea City this Saturday.
After cruising past West Ham last weekend, Mourinho’s men will be confident of picking up another three points as they look to continue their positive start to the campaign with a win against Swansea in their first away league game of the 2017-18 campaign.
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Even though it’s too early to judge United based on just one game, they look more assured in their game and are more comfortable in possession than ever and with Nemanja Matic holding fort at the heart of the midfield, United really looked like a title winning team that the Old Trafford faithful were so used to under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Looking more and more like a typical Jose Mourinho squad, It’s up to the players now to keep the consistency going and keep up with the recent reputation.
Up against them is a potentially struggling Swansea side, who would be playing their first full season under head coach Paul Clement. Swansea have struggled for consistency ever since they finished 8th in the 2014/15 season under Gary Monk.
Paul Clement- who was the academy manager during Mourinho’s first spell with Chelsea- will be hoping to kick start their campaign with their first win of the new campaign, even if it meant taking one over his former boss.
Early Team News:
Manchester United : Mourinho will be tempted to play the same XI that brushed aside West Ham last weekend and there is really no good reason why he should twerk with the squad or with the system.
However, it is possible he could bench Mata and bring in Herrera , for Swansea has pace on the counter , with the likes of Fer, Routledge, Ayew who are all willing runners.
It will also be interesting to see if Mourinho gives Anthony Martial a start, after he made a strong case for himself last week with a goal and an assist after he came on as a substitute.
Mourinho will be pleased that his team came out unscathed and that everyone is available for selection.
Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo remain long-term absentees and are not expected to make a come back into first team squad any time soon, although Shaw is expected to be fit and ready by next month.
Swansea City : Losing Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton is a massive blow for the Welsh club. Sigurdsson was easily the stand out player in otherwise a struggling Swansea team that barely escaped relegation last season.
Fernando Llorente is still absent as he recovers from a broken arm he suffered earlier this summer from a road accident, and had missed the club’s entire pre-season and the Swans’ goalless draw against Southampton last weekend.
Midfielders Ki Sung-Yeung and Nathan Dyer are also injured and are expected to miss the fixture, while the rest of the squad who played against the Saints last week is available at Paul Clement’s disposal.
Predicted Line Up and formation:
Manchester United : David de Gea(GK), Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Daley Blind, Antonio Valencia, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Lukaku.
Formation : 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1
Swansea City : Fabianski(Gk), Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Britton, Fer, Carroll. Routledge, Ayew, Abraham
Formation : 4-4-2
The two teams had previously met 29 times before, and the ratio of wins is surprisingly not as large in favour of United as one would expect. United have won 13 out of the 29 games, while Swansea emerged victorious an impressive 10 times.
The remaining 6 games ended in a draw, including their last meeting at the Old Trafford.
Swansea does have a good record against United of late, winning on a couple of occasions in the last 3 seasons.
The last encounter between the two clubs was a 1-1 stalemate at Old Trafford earlier this April, where Swansea largely outperformed Manchester United in what Mourinho termed ‘a game worth nothing to us’.
Wayne Rooney’s first half penalty, which would soon be his final goal at home, was cancelled out by a magnificent Sigurdsson freekick that saw Swansea take a crucial point away from home , which was of significance to the Swans as they scraped through to safety last season.
No prizes for guessing who the favourites are. After a convincing 4-0 victory against the Hammers last weekend, Manchester United will be expected to emerge victorious against the Swans this weekend.
Swansea are further weakened by the departure of Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton and is widely considered to be one of the teams that will be fighting to stay alive in the Premier League.
It would be a real shock if Swansea somehow does scrap through with a win or at least a draw against the club from Old Trafford.
Betting odds (via 888 Sport):
Swansea to win: 17/2
Manchester United to win: 7/20