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