English Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs Swansea

Last season’s champions find themselves struggling at seventh in the league table. Last season’s league cup winners find themselves struggling at thirteenth. Manchester United and Swansea are perhaps this season’s biggest disappointments.

It seemed like United were turning things around in December, picking up six straight wins in all competitions. However, they haven’t been able to carry forward their good form into the new year and have slumped miserably. Their midweek defeat to Sunderland in the Capital One cup means that United have now lost three games on the trot.

United will be looking to turn things around when they host Swansea on Saturday evening. Just a week ago, Swansea knocked United out of the FA cup at Old Trafford. United will be seeking revenge for that, but Swansea will believe they can get something out of this game.

Looking at the Manchester United team, you got to say it doesn’t look as fierce and threatening as it once was. The defense and midfield is actually quite mediocre for a top team. Due to the lack of quality and squad depth, David Moyes has been forced to play almost the same set of players throughout December.

Moyes also has a few injury concerns ahead of this game but has been handed a huge boost by Robin Van Persie, who is back in training and expected to play a part in their next game against Chelsea.

ManUtd Swansea

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is wary of a Manchester United backlash and said, “It will certainly be more difficult to win this weekend than it was last weekend. I expect them to come out and have a go at us. Let’s face it, they have to win this game so we must be ready for what they throw at us. They will be desperate to show they are better than the things that are being written and said about them.”

Swansea’s cup victory came at the expense of a couple of players picking up knocks to add to their ever increasing injury list. The injuries of De Guzman and Pablo Hernandez means that the Swans will be without seven first team players going into this game.

It will be interesting to see Laudrup’s team selection for this game. He might decide to change the formation and play an extra player in central midfield. The absence of their talismanic forward Michu has seen the versatile Jonjo Shelvey play in a more advanced position, but he will probably play a little deeper than he has been playing in recent weeks. Summer signing Wilfried Bony who scored the winner in the FA cup, looks to have re-discovered his form. He will be the major threat to United’s leaky defense.

Manchester United are all but out of the title race and are facing the prospect of missing out on Champions League qualification. They desperately need to start a winning streak to close the gap between them and their competitors for the fourth spot. On the other hand, Swansea are just four points above the relegation zone. Although they are better than the other teams fighting for survival, fans must be starting to feel a little uneasy.

David Moyes has rather unfairly been made a scapegoat for the team’s failure. It is time the players took the responsibility for their shortcomings, step up and deliver for the team.

The stakes are high and while United are favorites to win this one, Swansea will fancy their chances.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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