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Confirmed Starting XI: Martial and Rashford tasked to put Manchester United into the fifth round of the Carabao Cup

Manchester United will face Swansea City in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday evening. It is Jose Mourinho’s first match after the defeat away to Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon, a result United deserved after their poor performance, which was not just against the Premier League new boys, but also against Benfica in the UEFA Champions League and against Liverpool in the Premier League. United will need to find some form and fact if they are to make it into the fifth round of the league cup this week and Swansea City, fresh from their own defeat this weekend, will be seeking to pounce on a hurting Manchester United side.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Darmian, Lindelof, Smalling, Blind;

Tuanzebe, Herrera;

Lingard, McTominay, Martial;

Rashford

Substitutes:

Pereira; Jones, Shaw; Mata, Mkhitaryan, Matic; Lukaku

Manchester United and Swansea City have met competitively 30 times since the 5th September 1931 – in that match, it was United who took the points with a 2-1 victory. In all of the matches played, United have won 14 times, drawn six times and lost ten times. The last defeat to Swansea was on the 30th August 2015, a 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium. Since that match, the two sides have met four times, United winning three and drawing once. United had a seven-match unbeaten run against Swansea with stretched from the 0-0 draw on the 18th December 1982, right to way through to the 4-1 victory on the 17th August 2013. United have a four-match unbeaten streak currently, something which Jose Mourinho will be seeking to extend to five matches with Swansea yet to visit Old Trafford this season.

Starting XI Prediction: Mourinho to use a back three formation at the Liberty Stadium?

Manchester United are pitted against Swansea City in the Carabao Cup at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday evening. The match will be shown live in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports. It will be a match where United will need to get over their defeat away to Huddersfield Town in the Premier League at the weekend, pushing on to reach the fifth round of the Carabao Cup, which will see them defend their crown for another round. Jose Mourinho’s side is depleted by injury right now, not that it should be an excuse for United’s poor form, which did not just appear at Huddersfield, it had been present for the previous two matches; the 1-0 victory over Benfica in the UEFA Champions League and the 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League.

Starting XI Prediction (3-4-1-2):

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian has not played for a while now and seems to be a good option instead of David De Gea, so with De Gea’s niggle he suffered against Huddersfied, he should be rested for the big Premier League game this weekend with Tottenham Hotspur coming to the Theatre of Dreams. Romero is trusted by Jose Mourinho and has proven himself, especially in the UEFA Europa League last season, where he was chosen ahead of David De Gea, the Spanish goalkeeper saved for the Premier League matches.

Back Three: Axel Tuanzebe, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind

Manchester United are down to three experienced central defenders; Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, and Daley Blind. Axel Tuanzebe is also a player on the fringes of the first team who could be chosen to get United through this midweek match. Eric Bailly was due back this week, but it is not known whether this will be the Swansea match, or more importantly the Tottenham Hotspur match in the Premier League at the weekend. Having Tuanzebe, Smalling and Blind playing in a back three in this match could see United play more defensively, with Young and Shaw in the fullback roles, which could see United playing a more attacking display, which was what has been lacking recently. Getting through the injury period is a must for United. If they can scrape through, that will do.

Fullbacks: Ashley Young and Luke Shaw

Antonio Valencia will be a much better option against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford this weekend and with Matteo Darmian being overlooked recently, Ashley Young could be pulled in at right-back with Luke Shaw coming in at left-back, should he not play for the U23’s on Monday evening. Shaw needs to get back into the swing of things in the first team, getting the manager to trust him again and play to his potential. Failing that, his career at United will be in the balance with the January window fastly coming, which could be where he ends his career at the club. Let’s be honest, he has not done himself any favours since he signed from Southampton, just not reaching the level needed to be a Manchester United player. Here is hoping he sorts his mind out and makes it, against all odds.

Midfield: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic

United do not have any other midfielder to choose from unless one of Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick or Marouane Fellaini are going to be a surprise on the trip to Swansea. Both Herrera and Matic have played in the last three matches, Matic showing his worth in the defeat to Huddersfield at the weekend, trying to spur up the players and Herrera moaning about the attitude shown, which was not the best whatever the manager says. United need to kick on and get the results in the bag, whatever the means. Until Pogba is back, United will always miss him and the haters will too, they have nothing to compare against at this moment in time.

Number Ten: Scott McTominay

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata have not been in the best form recently and should be rested, which could help bring the best out of them in the weeks to come. One or both could come off the bench, as United do not have a lot of players to choose from at this time, many on the sidelines through injury. Scott McTominay, fresh from signing he new contract late last week could be the player Mourinho looks to in order to keep the play from the midfield to the forwards, possibly attempting to score himself – he has it in him.

Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have played well this season, but need to be trusted by the manager a little more. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the sidelines, other than James Wilson, who is returning from a knee injury, there are no other players to take the pressure off Romelu Lukaku, who has played nearly every match this season, sitting on the bench in the third round of the carabao Cup against Burton Albion. Rashford has scored in the last two matches, and Martial has the ability to some nothing into something, and Mourinho needs to trust both to perform when Lukaku needs to be rested as the season is not getting any shorter, so to speak.

Preview: Manchester United to strike whilst the iron is hot and put the defeat behind them?

Swansea City -v- Manchester United

Carabao Cup 2017/18

Liberty Stadium, Swansea

Tuesday 24th October 2017; KO 19:45 BST

Live on Sky Sports Football HD in the United Kingdom

Manchester United will face Swansea City in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday evening. It is Jose Mourinho’s first match after the defeat away to Huddersfield Town on Saturday afternoon, a result United deserved after their poor performance, which was not just against the Premier League new boys, but also against Benfica in the UEFA Champions League and against Liverpool in the Premier League. United will need to find some form and fact if they are to make it into the fifth round of the league cup this week and Swansea City, fresh from their own defeat this weekend, will be seeking to pounce on a hurting Manchester United side.

United, on the other hand, will need to pounce on Swansea and show them no mercy in a bid to get the much-needed result in their defence of the league cup this season. United beat Swansea 4-0 at the start of the season when everyone was talking about this United side and just how far they could go. The thing is that United were not challenged until they face Liverpool at Anfield last weekend and were lucky to leave Merseyside with a point. In Lisbon, the goal scored by Marcus Rashford was more luck than clinical attacking and Huddersfield gave United a game at the weekend, being on top for the majority of the match with United running out of ideas.

Injuries have hampered United at this early stage of the season, not that it is an excuse. United are without Eric Bailly, who should be back in action this week, whether it will be against Swansea or Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford is the question, Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Phil Jones limped off on Saturday with Victor Lindelof replacing him, so United are down to bare bones in midfield and central defence with just Chris Smalling, Lindelof and Daley Blind fit, and Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay in midfield. United will need to dig deep for a result to make the rest of the football world notice, then follow that up with a victory over Spurs at the Theatre of Dreams this coming weekend.

Previous Matches: Swansea City winless in the last four matches against Manchester United

Manchester United and Swansea City have met competitively 30 times since the 5th September 1931 – in that match, it was United who took the points with a 2-1 victory. In all of the matches played, United have won 14 times, drawn six times and lost ten times. The last defeat to Swansea was on the 30th August 2015, a 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium. Since that match, the two sides have met four times, United winning three and drawing once. United had a seven-match unbeaten run against Swansea with stretched from the 0-0 draw on the 18th December 1982, right to way through to the 4-1 victory on the 17th August 2013. United have a four-match unbeaten streak currently, something which Jose Mourinho will be seeking to extend to five matches with Swansea yet to visit Old Trafford this season.

Form: Jose Mourinho’s side have had the better start this season but are now licking their wounds after Saturday’s defeat

Manchester United started the season in fine fettle with two 4-0 victories against West Ham United and Swansea City – their opposition in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. United had only dropped two points in the Premier League before the international break at the start of the month with that 2-2 draw away to Stoke City, but a 0-0 draw at Liverpool and a 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town, United have dropped seven points this season, feeling the hurt from their first defeat of the season. In the UEFA Champions League, United have won three in three, in good stead to reach the knockout stages of the competition. A 4-1 victory over Burton Albion in the third round of the Carabao Cup set up this tie with Swansea this week.

Swansea City did not have the best start to the season, winning just twice in the Premier League against Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town, drawing with Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, and being defeated by Manchester United, Newcastle United, Watford, West Ham United, and Leicester City at the weekend. In the Carabao Cup, Swansea have won both matches (obviously) beating MK Dons and Reading, setting up this tie with United – a game where revenge could be on the menu for Jose Mourinho’s side, or so Paul Clement will be hoping. United’s pursuit in Europe could be their downfall with Swansea much fresher at this early stage of the season, but United will be much fitter, injuries aside.

Team News: Injuries, injuries, injuries. It is no excuse and United need to push on and play for the badge on their shirts, not the name on the back!

Jose Mourinho will be without Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and most probably Phil Jones, who is the latest injured player, limping off in the defeat to Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Eric Bailly has been pencilled in for a return this week, but it is uncertain whether that will be away to Swansea or at home to Spurs this coming weekend. United could be left with just three experienced central defenders; Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Daley Blind for this match – Axel Tuanzebe, if fit, should be given a chance, with just Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay in midfield. The attacking options for Mourinho are not that great either with Marcos Rashford, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku in need of a rest. Mourinho will need to take a gamble, possibly throw United’s chance of retaining the league cup this season, ensuring his side is ready to throw all they have at Spurs this weekend.

Predicted Starting XI: A gamble for Jose Mourinho could keep United in the Carabao Cup; using the same players could expose United against Spurs!

Match Prediction: A close victory for Manchester United in the Carabao Cup?

Swansea City 1-2 Manchester United

Report: Bailly scores first as Manchester United rout Swansea; Lukaku, Pogba and Martial on the scoresheet

Manchester United annihilated Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in the opening Premier League match of the weekend. Eric Bailly scored United first goal at the end of the first half, putting the ball over the line after Paul Pogba’s header hit the inside of the post and failed to cross the line. In the second half, United aimed to increase their lead, which was not coming. In the 75th minute of the match, Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial were brought on, changing the game. In the 80th minute, Romelu Lukaku scored United’s second, Pogba scored a third, Henrikh Mkhitaryan assisting both. Then in the 84th minute, Anthony Martial scored his second goal of the season. Three points in the bag, United still top of the league.

Jose Mourinho made one change from the West Ham victory last Sunday with Victor Lindelof being named a substitute ahead of Matteo Darmian. The starting XI was unchanged. In the opening minutes, Swansea could have taken the lead, beating United with their pace, getting in behind the back four and a chance being created for Tammy Abraham, who missed the opportunity to score the first goal against United this season. Minutes later, United has the chance through Marcus Rashford, whose shot was wide of the target and no problem for Łukasz Fabiański. United also had a free-kick, almost getting the first goal of the match with Phil Jones’ header hitting the crossbar from Juan Mata’s free-kick.

Heading to the half way point of the first half, United had been playing well. Every time they had the ball they looked a threat. Swansea were playing ten men behind the ball with United on the attack, which when United had done it last season, was rubbish play and showed no ambition, yet when teams do it against United, it is fine. It shows a lack of ambition in my book. United have created chances, yet unable to break with anything at this stage of the match. Paul Pogba was booked for a challenge in the 26th minute of the match with Swansea pushing to get a goal, but it not coming for them. United seemed to be doing everything needed to stop Swansea from creating anything credible with almost half an hour gone.

After some good play by United, Swansea seemed to be getting through and getting some play, taking on United. The last five minutes or so had seen the home side get the better of United, pushing to break the deadlock, but not getting there. After some effort, United took the lead after a corner. In the build up, Pogba whipped in two great crosses in quick succession with Swansea defending well. The second was put out for a corner by Kyle Naughton. From the corner, Pogba jumped to head the ball, striking the crossbar, bouncing off the line, not over it with Eric Bailly rushing forward and helping the ball over, scoring his first Manchester United goal. United headed into the break 1-0 up with a lot still to do in the second half.

No changes at the start of the second half for either team. United continued to put pressure on the Welsh side, pushing for more goals which should see them leave Swansea with three points again. United got a corner in the opening five minutes of the half, doing well but not gaining anything from it. United were still playing well, still seeking that second goal and Swansea were still putting in a pretty poor performance. Just after the hour, Swansea had a great chance through Tammy Abraham, whose header was wide of the target. United had been allowing Swansea some space in their half, presumably to create space to catch them on the counter, which beats playing against ten men, all behind the ball on the attack.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a shot, from long-range in the 62nd minute of the match, the ball being deflected out for a corner. Daley Blind took the corner, United pressured, unable to get a credible chance on goal, with Swansea gaining possession in their own half. In the 66th minute of the match, Swansea made their first two changes with Luciano Narsingh replacing Roque Mesa and Wayne Routledge replacing Kyle Bartley. In the 70th minute, Swansea won a corner, which came to nothing other than another corner, earning nothing for the home side. Leroy Fer was booked in the 73rd minute for a challenge on Blind, who was attempting a shot on goal, getting just wide of the target. A free-kick was given, Pogba taking it and not hitting the target.

In the 75th minute, Jose Mourinho made his first two changes with Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata being replaced by Anthony Martial and Marouane Fellaini, Rashford being booed off by the home supporters, presumably because his future seems so much better than their entire clubs future. In the 80th minute, Romelu Lukaku scored United’s third goal of the season with a Mkhitaryan assist going 2-0 and seemingly game over for the home side, who have played 170 minutes of football so far this season with no goals scored. Just over a minute later, Paul Pogba put United 3-0 up, Mkhitaryan getting another assist. It wasn’t over yet, Anthony Martial put United 4-0 up, the second rout in a week, Pogba getting the assist after Lukaku started the play. Ander Herrera replaced Mkhitaryan after the goal.

Three minutes were added on at the end of the second half and two minutes in, Swansea had a chance for a consolation goal, hitting just wide of the target. United have dug deep and taken the victory in the second half of the match, despite going 1-0 up at the end of the first half. The match ended with United taking six points from the six available in both matches, domination both West Ham United and Swansea City, scoring eight goals, four in each match and ending up three points clear at the top of the table with big performances needed from Huddersfield Town, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Burnley, Everton and West Bromwich Albion, who could all aim to displace United, as long as they scored goals galore and conceded few.

Goals: Eric Bailly 45′, Romelu Lukaku 80′, Paul Pogba 82′, Anthony Martial 84′

Assists: Henrikh Mkhitaryan 80′, 82′, Paul Pogba 84′

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind; Matic, Pogba; Mata (Fellaini 75′), Mkhitaryan (Herrera 85′), Rashford (Martial 75′); Lukaku

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Smalling, Lindelof; Lingard

Bookings: Paul Pogba 26′

Starting XI: Manchester United unchanged from West Ham victory

Manchester United face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday in their second Premier League match of the season. After a good pre-season campaign, United commenced their Premier League season last Sunday at Old Trafford against West Ham United. Jose Mourinho’s side dominated the match with Romelu Lukaku scoring a brace on his league debut for United, with Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba also scoring in the 4-0 victory over the London club. United, scoring the most goals in the opening weekend topped the league and if they beat Swansea City, scoring a number of goals again, could still be at the top of the league by the time the last match has been played on Monday evening. Mourinho has suggested that his team were not fixed, just more confident and ahead of this fixture, the Portuguese self-imposed ‘special one’ had lauded French forward Martial.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Valencia, Bailly, Jones, Blind;

Matic, Pogba;

Mata, Mkhitaryan, Rashford;

Lukaku

Substitutes:

Romero; Smalling, Lindelof; Lingard, Herrera, Fellaini; Martial

United and Swansea have played 29 matches in the history of both clubs. United have won 13 times, drawn six and lost ten. United will be looking to continue their good start to the season. A win today would keep the side at the top of the league and scoring lots of goals, which seemed to run short last season will assist that also. Come on UNITED!

Starting XI Prediction: Anthony Martial to start in Swansea clash with Manchester United looking to remain top of the league

Manchester United face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday in their second Premier League match of the season. After a good pre-season campaign, United commenced their Premier League season last Sunday at Old Trafford against West Ham United. Jose Mourinho’s side dominated the match with Romelu Lukaku scoring a brace on his league debut for United, with Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba also scoring in the 4-0 victory over the London club. United, scoring the most goals in the opening weekend topped the league and if they beat Swansea City, scoring a number of goals again, could still be at the top of the league by the time the last match has been played on Monday evening. Mourinho has suggested that his team were not fixed, just more confident and ahead of this fixture, the Portuguese self-imposed ‘special one’ had lauded French forward Martial.

Starting XI Prediction (4-2-3-1):

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper, a supposed target for Real Madrid this summer with speculation starting again with less than a fortnight before the closure of the summer transfer window, had a great match at the Theatre of Dreams last Sunday, keeping a clean sheet although the Hammers were not in their best shape at the start of the season. The Spanish goalkeeper is one of, if not the best goalkeeper in the world and you can understand why a team like Real Madrid will want the player, but also why Manchester United need to keep hold of him. Not needing to sell, United should be able to command a huge fee for the player, if they wanted to sell, which should not happen. The Madrid side has been after Kylian Mbappe this summer and he seems to be heavily linked to Paris Saint-Germain, whether it be this summer or next, meaning the Spanish champions and UEFA Champions League holders will miss out on the hyped teenager. That is where De Gea comes in, supposedly a player that will show the summer window has not been a failure for the Madrid club. Sad plan of action for the best team in the world.

Back Four: Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Daley Blind

The back four played impeccably well against West Ham on Sunday. Jose Mourinho should not be tinkering with the early form of his side. Rotation, which seemed needless at times last season may not have been necessary. With Luke Shaw still on the sidelines (until Monday evening when he plays for the U23’s) and Marcos Rojo out for the first half of the season, probably, testing defenders may be needed, but may also be deemed unnecessary at this time. United play three matches over three weeks before other competitions commence after the international break, meaning there would be no need to rotate quite so much. With Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind in the fullback positions and Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, who both did well last weekend in the middle, the defence should be set against Swansea.

Central Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

The midfield due controlled the middle of the park against West Ham and they could do that and more at Swansea. Nemanja Matic was a great signing this summer, more important than Paul Pogba this season because the Frenchman was not able to play to his strengths last season, which drew a lot of criticism. In one Premier League match this season, Pogba played well, one of the best on the pitch, scoring a goal and creating many opportunities. Matic was the lynchpin in midfield, the guy holding the Hammers at bay in midfield, doing his role impeccably well and showing just how much Chelsea will miss him, despite purchasing a younger model who is far from experienced, especially in the Premier League. With the likes of Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, and Marouane Fellaini on the bench, United have many options to change things up if it needs to go that way.

Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Anthony Martial

Last weekend Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford started against West Ham. It was a good attacking line-up behind the striker with experience and youth, lots of pace, determination and thought. United played well, feeding Romelu Lukaku, helping him score a brace and almost (twice) get his hat-trick. One change, Anthony Martial would do wonders for United. The attacking pace and flair would be second to none. Jose Mourinho had lauded his French left winger, suggesting that this was the season he comes to fruition. Just imagine the running of Rashford, constantly running at his man, trying to get behind the defence and create, the pace and threat of Martial, especially cutting in from the left and Mkhitaryan, running the show in the middle, relying on Paul Pogba to get things started. That is a devastating attacking trio and that is before you even think about Lukaku leading the line.

Striker: Romelu Lukaku

The striker had the perfect start to his Manchester United career last weekend, starting the season with a brace and helping his team beat West Ham United 4-0, sitting pretty at the top of the table with 37 matches remaining. Lukaku knows the Premier League, has the big game experience and the fight, physicality and sheer brilliance to get something for his team. Being flanked by Rashford and Martial with Mkhitaryan just behind him will be great for his confidence and for United’s forward line. This season, if fitness works well for Manchester United, could be the one where Jose Mourinho has them challenging and proving they were just a sleeping giant, showing all the pundits that the club was never going to do a Liverpool, who are 27 years from their last league title win.

Preview: Mourinho’s Manchester United out to tame the Swans this weekend

Swansea City -v- Manchester United

Premier League 2017/18

Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales

Saturday 19th August 2017; KO 12:30 BST

Live on Sky Sports Premier League HD

Manchester United continue their Premier League campaign against Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in the first kick off this weekend. United are top of the Premier League after beating West Ham United 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday with new summer signing Romelu Lukaku scoring a brace, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba adding to the goals and David De Gea and United’s defence keeping their first clean sheet of the season. United, despite being majorly unchanged from last season have started the season confidently, just like last season, coming unstuck after the first international break of the season. United defender Victor Lindelof will be given extra time by Jose Mourinho this season, seeing that after pre-season, he needs to be able to settle in at the club before being exposed to the competitive nature of the Premier League. If he fails in one match, the ABU supporters will judge him always based on that performance and United fans will probably do the same as they have very high standards and do not seem to understand those deemed legendary in terms of United had to start somewhere too.

This season will be a big one for United who will be looking to compete in the league this season, despite some former players criticising what Mourinho has done this summer, adding to what he did last summer, yes, you Paul Ince the guy who has achieved everything at the top of the game, playing FIFA 17 maybe. Mourinho has made some big changes after David Moyes and Louis van Gaal fell short managing the club post-Sir Alex Ferguson. Over those three years, the winning mentality of the club had disappeared, along with experience in the side and then fring players were sold, some of those seemingly being mistakes by the Dutchman. Mourinho had a strong first summer, bringing in Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba, following that up with Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, possibly the option ro re-sign Ibrahimovic again once fit. Mourinho, speaking to the official Manchester United website about raising the bar, referring to his back-to-back title win in his first stint as Chelsea manager, the manager said:

“When I won two consecutive titles with Chelsea, the United manager [Sir Alex] said we brought the bar to a certain level. And that they had to improve a lot to try to win the trophy back. I think this happens every season. Somebody wins and the others are not happy. They don’t accept it with their hands in their pockets and the others improve to try to be better.”

Mourinho has also spoken about transfer business this summer. The Portuguese manager previously stated that he wanted a central defender, a striker, a defensive midfielder and a winger, signing all but the winger which was tipped to be Ivan Perisic. The United manager has in effect stated that United’s summer transfer business is over, unless something changes and they have to get involved in the market. Rumours suggest that the Perisic chase is not over and that Mourinho is also interested in Monaco attacking midfielder Thomas Lemar, which seems too good to be true. In his press conference ahead of the Swansea City match, Mourinho said:

“Unless something happens that puts us in the market again. Obviously, my plans were four but I also told them to be cool, there is no pressure from me, do what you think is best for the club. We will be together again for another window in January and one next summer. I am happy with the squad we have. I’m ready to go without a fourth signing.”

Previous Matches: Manchester United and Swansea City are a good match for a decent game.

Manchester United and Swansea City have met each other 29 times in the history of both clubs. Twelve games were played between 1931 and 1938,  four games between 1981 and 1983 and thirteen played between 2011 and 2017. United have won 13 times, drawing six times and losing ten times. In the 1930’s alone, United lost five times, only four times since 2011 and another defeat in the 1980’s. The longest unbeaten run United have had against Swansea is from their 0-0 draw on the 18th December 1981 right the way through to the 4-1 victory on the 17th August 2014, a seven match run in which United won five matches and drew twice, scoring 12 goals, conceding just four. United’s biggest win against Swansea was a 5-2 victory in the old Football League Division Two back on the 4th December 1937.

The biggest defeat being the 3-1 defeat on the 16th January 1932 and the 2-0 defeat on the 30th January 1982, both away from Old Trafford. In six visits to the Liberty Stadium, United have won three, drawn once and lost twice; back-to-back on the 21st February 2015 and the 30th August 2015, losing 2-1 each time. Last season in this fixture, United ended a possible three match losing streak at the stadium by winning 3-1 with a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the other goal scored by Paul Pogba. In the last match played between the two sides, at Old Trafford in April 2017, it was a 1-1 draw with former striker Wayne Rooney scoring a penalty at the end of the first half but with Gylfi Sigurdsson, his new Everton teammate, scoring a free-kick late in the match to earn a point for his old club.

Pre-Season Form: United have had the more difficult matches this summer, testing their form and abilities

Manchester United have played eight matches this pre-season, five of which were played in the United States of America. United beat LA Galaxy 5-2 in their first match of the summer, then going onto beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 in the second. United then participated in the International Champions Cup facing Manchester City, winning 2-0, Real Madrid, beating them 2-1 on penalties after a 1-1 90-minute draw and Barcelona, losing in a 1-0 defeat which was a very close match. United then heading back to Europe, facing Valerenga in Oslo, winning 3-0, their first win against the side after a previous 0-0 draw in the city. The last pre-season match came against Sampdoria in Dublin with United winning 2-1 in the Irish capital. United played their first competitive match of the season against Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup, beaten 2-1 after being outclassed during the match. United started the new season against West Ham United at Old Trafford, winning 4-0 with a brace from Romelu Lukaku and a goal a piece from Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba.

Swansea City started their pre-season on the 12th July with a 1-0 defeat away to Barnet. Three days later, playing in the United States of America, drew 2-2 with Philadelphia Union. On the 19th July, Swansea beat the Richmond Kickers 2-1 then drew 0-0 with North Carolina on the 22nd July. On the 29th July, Swansea beat Birmingham City 2-0 before playing their first pre-season match at the Liberty Stadium, playing Sampdoria, the side United played in Dublin, winning 4-0. This seemed to get Paul Clement’s side ready for the new season, in which they played Southampton at St Mary’s in their opening Premier League match, drawing 0-0, not a great start to the new season. Now up against a resurgent United side, Clement’s side could well be exposed again and without their star player, Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Team News: Two injuries coming to the end to boost United; injuries could severely weaken the Swans

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that both Luke Shaw and Ashley Young will be back in U23 action next week, against Swansea City also, which will be the pairs first minutes of action this season. It could be a few weeks before both are ready to play a part for the first team, leaving Marcos Rojo on the sidelines for the first half of the season, possibly. Mourinho does not have any new injuries to add to his side, meaning that aside from Shaw, Young, and Rojo, he has a full team to select for this important Premier League match. Paul Clement, aside of losing Gylfi Sigurdsson this week will be without Nathan Dyer, Ki Sung-Yeung and Fernando Llorente with Leon Britton set for a late fitness test, which could pose further problems for the Welsh Premier League side.

Predicted Starting XI: 

Match Prediction: Manchester United’s strength-in-depth the key against Swansea City

Swansea City 0-3 Manchester United

CONFIRMED: Jones, Young, Rooney & Ibrahimovic start against Swansea City

Manchester United face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in the Premier League this afternoon. United are not a team in good form, or good spirits if you take how easily they were taken apart by Fenerbahçe on Thursday night in Istanbul. United’s players seem to lack desire, passion, ability and more. All the things professional footballers need to have, United do not seem to have it. Corners have been turned, or so we though with the 4-1 victory over Leicester City on the 24th September, United’s last win in the league, then came the 4-1 thrashing of Fenerbahçe in the Europa League at Old Trafford, with United not really getting out of their first gear, but since then, the 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea has happened as well as the 37 shots on goal against Burnley, failing to score a goal. A reaction is needed against lowly Swansea – a side who have beaten United in this fixture for the last two seasons, by the same scoreline – 2-1.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Young, Jones, Rojo, Darmian;

Carrick, Fellaini;

Mata, Pogba, Rooney;

Ibrahimovic

Substitutes:

Romero; Blind, Fosu-Mensah; Lingard, Schneiderlin; Martial, Rashford

Preview: Swansea hoodoo to continue with a third defeat in Wales?

Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales

Premier League 2016/17

Sunday 6th November 2016 – KO 15:00

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Assistant Referees: Scott Ledger and Matthew Wilkes

Fourth Official: Roger East

Manchester United travel to Wales to face Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium, not a happy hunting ground for the Red Devils. Bob Bradley’s side are not in good form and were beaten 3-1 by Stoke City on Monday evening, but Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United side are not much better at the end of the day. United were beaten by Fenerbahçe in Istanbul on Thursday evening with two stunning goals being scored, one by Moussa Sow inside the first two minutes, a spectacular overhead kick and another by Jeremain Lens, a Sunderland reject who seems to have found his feet for the Turkish side. Wayne Rooney scored a consolation goal for United in the dying minutes of the match, from 30-yards, but similar misses throughout the match for the captain could have changed it all for United, who seem to be playing with no passion, determination, knowledge of the game, or ability of it, which is worrying.

To be a footballer, you need to have passion, especially for the shirt you are wearing. This Sunday marks 30 years since Sir Alex Ferguson was named the Manchester United manager, and despite it taking a good few years for the Scotsman to find his feet, his ideal squad and game plan, results did come. So did the iron fist, which is needed in football. Since Sir Alex retired, things have been so much different with our beloved club. Records have been broken, not good ones either. Players do not seem to care about much, or at least that is the attitude they seem to perspire on the pitch, and it is very showing. Thing is, when this happens, only the manager gets the blame as he is the one that picked the team, so therefore logic would suggest the manager is to blame. You cannot possible blame any of the player’s, can you. I mean, they only go onto the pitch with instructions, seem to forget them, replicate a team of Girl Guides trying to play football whilst blindfolded. This is not professional football. You can see better on a Sunday morning in your local park, and those player are not millionaires – far from it.

Football today seems to blame everyone but the player’s. In fact, if you attempt to blame the players, you are told you are just making excuses for the manager, who six months ago was the best manager in the world, despite being sacked by Chelsea in December last year. Jose Mourinho is a talented manager, he has his work cut out, just like those before him. Imagine Sir Alex Ferguson coming back into the job, a manager that all players respect, or at least should do, they will soon be out of the door at Old Trafford, never to return, as a Manchester United player anyway. United’s players do not seem to have much going for them this season. They started well, but after the three-match losing streak, things started to go wrong, in fact, they were going wrong before that, at Hull City which United won with a last-ditch strike from Marcus Rashford. United will continue to be supported by the self-imposed ‘best fans in the world’, which at Stamford Bridge last month became true as they out sung the home fans, or ‘rent boys’ as we like to call them, only being 4-0 down, so it was not biggie, was it?

United need to find something, and fast. Failing to finish inside the top four this season will be costly. No UEFA Champions League football will mean around £23 million will be lost on the yearly adidas sponsorship, which may not be able to be earned back. That will also signify United’s decline and a fourth year of failure, even after the arrivals of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba, which could be classed as abject failure. The ABU’s will be laughing, but much like Liverpool back in the early 1990’s, those smiles will be wiped off their faces at some point in the future. United need to dramatically rebuild. Many players are not fit for much this season. Injuries are starting to cost the club again with Bailly, the best player so far this season sidelined until Christmas, then to leave again in January to play in the African Cup of Nations, which will represent another loss. Antonio Valencia suffered a fractured arm last weekend, having an operation and being sidelined for a period of time himself. Not to mention Chris Smalling also being sidelined, and now Paul Pogba, who suffered a dead leg and needed to come off against Fenerbahçe in the first half on Thursday.

It would seem that Manchester United have it all to do on Sunday, that is before you even think about the fact that United have not won at the Liberty stadium since the 17th August 2013, losing their last two Premier League matches by the same 2-1 scoreline. They come in three’s! Jose Mourinho is serving a touchline ban for this match, with another charge incoming after being sent to the stand last weekend at Old Trafford, which could mean United either dig deep and prove to their manager they are a team, or his lack of presence on the touchline will mean United will falter yet again.

Manchester United Form:- LDWLW

Fenerbahçe 2-1 L, Burnley 0-0 D, Manchester City 1-0 W, Chelsea 4-0 L, Fenerbahçe 4-1 W

Manchester United have continued their decline in form after putting 37 shots on goal against Burnley at Old Trafford last Saturday, to being controlled by Fenerbahçe in the UEFA Europa League in Turkey, losing 2-1 and playing like a team that not only do not know each other, have never played football before and had clearly never heard about the passion you must show when playing for a club as big as Manchester United. The fact that so many players do not fit the aspirations of the club is worrying. Their pay packet seems to be their main concern, and that just shows how far the club has fallen in the past three years and the work to get the club back to where they envisage to be will be tough and could take years, if recent performances are be used as a pointer. Things need to improve, and fast.

Swansea City Form:- LDLLL

Stoke City 3-1 L, Watford 0-0 D, Arsenal 3-1 L, Liverpool 2-1 L, Manchester City 3-1 L

Swansea City have not had a great start to the season, earning just five points in ten matches. New manager Bob Bradley has been brought in to change their fortunes, and so far it is not working. A 3-1 defeat to Stoke City on Monday has set Swansea up in low form to face Manchester United, a team they have beaten 2-1 in the last two meeting at the Liberty Stadium with United not winning since the opening day of the season back in 2013. United are not exactly in great form and could quite easily leave Wales with nothing for the third successive season if the team which were beaten by Fenerbahçe on Thursday show up, which is likely.

Manchester United Top Scorers:

6 – Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 4 – Marcus Rashford, 3 – Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, 2 – Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, 1 – Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Chris Smalling

Swansea City Top Scorers:

4 – Leroy Fer, 3 – Gylfi Sigurðsson, 2 – Oliver McBurnie, 1 – Jay Fulton, Borja González Tomás, Fernando Llorente, Wayne Routledge

Manchester United Squad;

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone

Defenders: Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Axel Tuanzebe

Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Ander Herrera, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marouane Fellaini, Morgan Schneiderlin

Forwards: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford

Injuries and Suspensions: Eric Bailly (knee), Chris Smalling (foot), Paul Pogba (dead leg), Antonio Valencia (broken arm)

Swansea City Squad:

Manager: Bob Bradley

Goalkeepers: Łukasz Fabiański, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Mark Birighitti, Gerhard Tremmel

Defenders: Jordi Amat, Neil Taylor, Mike van der Hoorn, Alfie Mawson, Àngel Rangel, Kyle Naughton, Federico Fernández, Stephen Kingsley

Midfielders: Ki Sung-yueng, Leon Britton, Leroy Fer, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Modou Barrow, Jefferson Montero, Gylfi Sigurðsson, Jack Cork, Jay Fulton

Forwards: Fernando Llorente, Borja Bastón, Oliver McBurnie

Injuries and Suspensions: Kyle Naughton (illness), Jefferson Montero (ankle), Nathan Dyer (ankle)

Predicted Starting XI:

Manchester United are a team facing an uncertain future and I use the word ‘team’ lightly. They are far from a team, just a mockery of the word. Against Fenerbahçe, despite coming days after peppering Burnley with 37 shots on goal, failing to score any, and then playing against the Turkish side with no passion, desire, ability or anything for that matter. Yes, Wayne Rooney did score a spectacular 30-yard goal, but that does not mean he is back to be best. United need to find something positive of face being broken down easily, like they were in 90 seconds in Istanbul. I don’t have the answers, but the team I would like to see is as follows…

Predicted Score:

Swansea City 2-1 Manchester United

I am less than confident that Manchester United will get the result they need at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Swansea are down in the dumps, but United are not that far from that position. Not winning in the Premier League since the 4-1 thrashing of Leicester City on the 24th September, which could well have been a turning point for the club, but wasn’t. Jose Mourinho has his work cut out with this poor United side. The last three years have told me one thing – don’t expect anything other than being let down. This team gets paid a fortune to do what? Nothing spectacular. I remember a time where Manchester United players had passion for the shirts they were wearing, now it seems the only passion shown is for what financial rewards the famous red shirt can bring these players, which obviously means more to the players that playing for the shirt and the players who previously wore the shirt. The Busby Babes had passion, compared to these plonkers, it just makes the club a massive laughing-stock with players who literally do not care.

copyright: JW