Manchester United are unbeaten in the Premier League so far. So are Swansea. The difference being that the Red Devils have won 2 and Swansea have drawn 2.
Swansea’s 2014/15 Season
Last season, The Swans finished in 8th, just 4 points, and one place, away from European football. It was their highest league finish since entering the league in the 2011/12 season. The big issue for them was their goal difference. It finished at -3.
During this transfer window, they have brought in more scoring options with Éder, signing from S. C. Braga for £4.9 million and, they managed to snatch up André Ayew on a free, one of the best bits of transfer business this summer.
Swansea have scored 5 goals so far, 2 have come from new winger André Ayew, the other 3 from big Bafetimbi Gomis. United’s only goals have come from an own goal, and a deflected Januzaj shot.
Swansea have proven to be a bit of a bogie team for United as they’ve grown into their role as a Premier League team.
Last season, United lost both games to Swansea 2-1. At the Liberty, Herrera scored the only away goal and, the only scorer for United at Old Trafford was Wayne Rooney. Both of these players scored in midweek.
Sung-Yong Ki scored for Swansea in both of their match ups with Manchester United but, the South Korean has only played 40 minutes for the Welsh side this season.
Swansea line up with a similar set up to Manchester United, in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with quick and skilful players on each wing. The top four set up as Gylfi Sigurðsson in attacking midfield, Jefferson Montero on the left and André Ayew on the right. All behind Bafetimbi Gomis.
Gomis is a very physical striker, luckily for Untied, Smalling is bigger, and has been enjoying his role as a bully. Gomis will most likely try to play off of Daley Blind to maximise his physical play but Smalling will most likely mark him up tight, as he has been in the other Premier League games.
Darmian and Shaw will need to give a couple of yards to their opponents this week as both Ayew and Montero are very fast, once they get going very few players can catch them.
Schneiderlin’s role as defensive midfielder will be vital. Sigurðsson set up 10 goals for Swansea last season. Swansea’s attacks often go through him, so Morgan has to cut him out.
There’s a lot of pressure on the Red Devils to get the goals flowing again. Herrera’s involvement in midweek’s win over Club Brugge was massive, having a part in each of the 4 goals. Admitedly, it was only Club Brugge, but he linked up with the offence very well. He became the connection between the midfield and the attack, a role that Rooney would play if behind a striker, but as he’s up top on his own, so this key skill of the Englishman’s isn’t utilised.
In two home games, one in the Premier League and the other in the League Cup, Swansea have not conceded. But I do think that United will break this early fortress building, by 2 scoring 2 goals. If he plays, and shows the same desire as he did against Brugge, Ander Herrera should get on the score sheet.
I also believe that the defence will once again be quality, and keep another clean sheet, making it four for four in the Premier League. But, I can see both of the fall backs getting booked whilst trying to keep either of The Swans’ tricky wingers at bay.
If United only score one goal, or fail to score, the fan’s need for a new striker will become even greater, putting immense pressure on Ed Woodward and Louis van Gaal to sign a top striker before the window closes.