Friday 18 August 2017

Match preview: Swansea v United

United travel to the traditionally unhappy hunting ground of south Wales to face a Swansea side beginning their first full season under head coach Paul Clement.

The Swans have proved to be a bogey side for the Reds in recent seasons having beaten us three times in a row, but United have redressed the balance with two wins and a draw since then.

The Reds threw down an impressive marker in their league opener with a ruthless, Nemanja-Matic inspired  4-0 demolition of West Ham with a brace of goals from Romelu Lukaku, added to by Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba. 
Swansea, meanwhile, travelled to the south coast to face Mauricio Pellegrino's Southampton and emerged with a creditable clean sheet and point in a goalless stalemate.

United manager Jose Mourinho is expecting a tough game against the Swans, and said:

"The team was in a difficult moment last season and stayed in the Premier League - Paul did well to do that.
"One point away against good team like Southampton is a positive result for them so I am expecting a difficult match.
"It is only the beginning, last year we had three matches and nine points and finished sixth so it's not because of a good opening that I'm going to lose my stability and discipline.
"Nobody is getting carried away but the players did great work for me and they are thinking the same as myself - that there is a long way to go." 

The boss will have an almost fully fit squad to choose from, with Luke Shaw and Ashley Young set to feature for the Under 23 side on Monday - to leave Marcos Rojo as our only absentee.

Swansea's resources are already stretched with Gylfi Sigurdsson - so often the scourge of United - having completed his £45m move to Everton.

Last season's top scorer Fernando Llorente is injured, with midfield pair Ki Sung-yueng and Nathan Dyer also sidelined - but new £11m signing Roque Mesa is set to make a debut.

The hosts endured their most turbulent Premier League campaign to date in 2016-17, as they struggled early on under Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley's ill-fated eleven match reign.

They picked up after Clement's arrival - including a memorable win over Liverpool at Anfield - and eventually finished 15th.

Form guide: Swansea L United W
Match odds: 10/1 Draw 4/1 United 1/3
Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire)

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