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PREVIEW: Manchester United v Swansea City – Barclays Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Barclays Premier League

Saturday 16th August 2014, KO 12:45 BST – Live on BT Sport

Referee: Mike Dean; Assistants: S Bennett & D England; Fourth Official: M Oliver

Manchester United play their opening match of the new Barclays Premier League season at Old Trafford on Saturday, entertaining the same opposition as the opening day during the last season – Swansea City. United won that match 4-1 with braces scored by Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck, both of whom will be unavailable for the opening match of the season due to not being fully match fit or injured. Louis van Gaal, the Dutch manager who replaced David Moyes has worked wonders with his squad in the month he has been at the helm. He has led United into six pre-season matches, winning all of them, one on penalties. Not that it matters much but they won the Chevrolet Cup and the Guinness International Champions Cup during their time in the United States of America, with a view to lifting trophies at the end of this season.

United have brought in two players; Ander Herrera and Luka Shaw. Shaw is currently on the sidelines through injury, where he will remain for the next month. Herrera is proving himself to be the midfielder that United need right now, even though more quality is required throughout the squad, especially in defence. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra all left the club this summer, only Ferdinand remains in England, playing for Harry Redknapp’s Queens Park Rangers. Vidic is at Inter Milan and Evra at Juventus, a club where up to two more United players could end up this summer, if rumours are true at least; Nani and Javier Hernandez.

Van Gaal took Michael Keane, Tyler Blackett, Reece James and Jesse Lingard on the pre-season tour to the USA, all of which proved themselves, with Blackett and James being the ones that Van Gaal utilised against Valencia earlier this week. Both may be needed again as Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Jonny Evans remain on the sidelines, which leave the defence looking thin, like it has done over the last few seasons with United suffering more than their fair share of injuries. Another injury to the defence tomorrow could force Van Gaal’s hand in the transfer market and with supporters screaming out for new signings, it is something we would all like to see.

United beat Swansea in their opening fixture last season, but the Welsh club knocked United out of the FA Cup in January, which was a poor display by United, but they got their revenge beating Garry Monk’s side 2-0 in the Barclays Premier League at Old Trafford just a few days after losing to them in the FA Cup. Swansea are a good side and have some quality in their squad. Monk has lost a few players this summer, but brought others in so it may take a few matches for them to become a force, but with Old Trafford no longer being seen as a fortress, for now anyway, the Welsh side could be out to take maximum advantage, as others have over the past year.

United were handed a boost with Rafael da Silva being available after having to fly back to Manchester during the pre-season tour, which considering the other injuries and absences in the squad, the Brazilians experience will be a welcome addition.

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Manchester United Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2014/15 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 0 matches, won 0, drawn 0, lost 0 and currently have 0 points

Scored 0 goals (0 goals per match) & conceded 0 goals (0 goals per match) – 0 penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 0 matches

Clean sheet record 0%

Swansea City Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2014/15 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 0 matches, won 0, drawn 0, lost 0 and currently have 0 points

Scored 0 goals (0 goals per match) & conceded 0 goals (0 goals per match) – 0 penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 0 matches

Clean sheet record 0%

Top Scorers (pre-season):

Manchester United: 5 – Wayne Rooney, 4 – Ashley Young, 2 – Reece James, Juan Mata, 1 – Marouane Fellaini, Darren Fletcher, Javier Hernandez, Jesse Lingard, Danny Welbeck

Swansea City: 2 – Bafétimbi Gomis, Wayne Routledge, Gylfi Sigurdsson, 1 – Jordi Amat, Rory Donnelly, Nathan Dyer, Jefferson Montero, Josh Sheehan

Manchester United Form: – WWWWWW

Last six matches: Valencia 2-1 W, Liverpool 3-1 W, Real Madrid 3-1 W, Inter Milan 0-0 (5-3) W, AS Roma 3-2 W, LA Galaxy 7-0 W

Swansea City: – LWLWWL

Last six matches: Villarreal 3-0 L, Reading 3-1 W, AFC Bournemouth 3-1 L, Exeter City 2-0 W, Plymouth Argyle 4-0 W, Minnesota United 2-0 L,

Head to Head:

Played three matches at Old Trafford in the Barclays Premier League:

Manchester United: Won 3, Drawn 0, Lost 0 – Scored 6 goals, conceded 1 goals and kept 2 clean sheets

Swansea City: Won 0, Drawn 0, Lost 3 – Scored 1 goals, conceded 6 goals and kept 0 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:

Manager: Louis van Gaal

Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 13, Anders Lindegaard, 40. Ben Amos, 50. Sam Johnstone;

Defenders: 2. Rafael da Silva, 3. Luke Shaw, 4. Phil Jones, 6. Jonny Evans, 12. Chris Smalling, 30. Guillermo Varela, 36. Marnick Vermijl, 38. Michael Keane, 39. Tom Thorpe, 41. Reece James, 42. Tyler Blackett;

Midfielders: 8. Juan Mata, 11. Adnan Januzaj, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Nani, 18. Ashley Young, 21. Ander Herrera, 23. Tom Cleverley, 24. Darren Fletcher, 25. Antonio Valencia, 26. Shinji Kagawa, 28. Anderson, 29. Wilfried Zaha, 31. Marouane Fellaini, 34. Tom Lawrence, 35. Jesse Lingard, 45. Davide Petrucci, 46. Joe Rothwell;

Strikers: 10. Wayne Rooney, 14. Javier Hernandez, 19. Danny Welbeck, 20. Robin van Persie, 48. Will Keane, 49. James Wilson

Doubts/Injuries: 3. Luke Shaw (hamstring), 6. Jonny Evans (knock), 16. Michael Carrick (ankle/foot), 19. Danny Welbeck (knee), 25. Antonio Valencia (leg), 28. Anderson (calf/shin) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Swansea City Squad:

Manager: Garry Monk

Goalkeepers: 1. Łukasz Fabiański, 13. David Cornell, 25. Gerhard Tremmel, 42. Oliver Davies, 45. Gregor Zabret;

Defenders: 2. Jordi Amat, 3. Neil Taylor, 6. Ashley Williams, 19. Dwight Tiendalli, 22. Àngel Rangel, 27. Kyle Bartley, 29. Jazz Richards, 35. Stephen Kingsley;

Midfielders: 4. Ki Sung-Yueng, 7. Leon Britton, 8. Jonjo Shelvey, 12. Nathan Dyer, 15. Wayne Routledge, 20. Jefferson Montero, 21. José Cañas, 23. Gylfi Sigurðsson, 31. Lee Lucas, 53. Adam King, 56. Jay Fulton;

Strikers: 10. Wilfried Bony, 11. Marvin Emnes, 18. Bafétimbi Gomis, 41. Rory Donnelly

Doubts/Injuries: 7. Leon Britton (knee), 11. Marvin Emnes (cartilage knee injury), 15. Wayne Routledge (ankle/foot), 41. Rory Donnelly (ankle/foot), 56. Jay Fulton (knee) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Predicted Formation/Starting XI:

Score Prediction:

Manchester United 2-1 Swansea City

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