Where: Liberty Stadium, Swansea Town, England.
When: Sunday, 23rd December 2012.
Time: 13.30 GMT
Referee: M. Oliver
We have a mouth watering clash in hand for a few reasons. Firstly, both teams have had an impressive form this season with Swansea just having a blip for the last 2 games. Secondly, these two teams have scored impressive goals at the front. Finally, both the teams have conceded almost the same amount of goals, giving us an indication that we can expect goals galore.
Swansea city have maintained their style of football for which they became famous last year under their former manager Brendan Rogers. Together with this, they have complimented the passing style with fluidic attacking style! Their victories away at Newcastle and Arsenal proved this. But they have conceded goals at the back as well which could be due to their reserve keeper standing in for the injured Michael Vorm who was impressive until before he got injured. With Vorm back in the starting 11 today, Swansea can only expect to do better at the back. In the attack, their new buy Pablo Hernandez has been quite a revelation, being the joint top scorer in Premier League with 12 goals.
On the other end, everything has been going according to Sir Alex’s plans for the Red Devils, though much to the surprise of the football pundits and other teams. Nobody expected UTD to be atop 6 points clear of their Derby rivals and Defending Champions. Their back four looks solid with the return of their captain Vidic last weekend and their attack has complimented these defensive blips by bailing them out whenever under trouble. There can be no qualms that UTD have the best attacking force at work together now with that sense of team spirit. If UTD can continue their impressive display, we can expect another goal thrill at the Liberty stadium against a stern & impressive Swansea City Team, making it a mouth watering clash.
Swansea: Michael Vorm returns back from a groin injury to replace Tremmel while Pablo Hernandez returns back from a thigh injury. Angel Rangel is set to miss out with a calf problem.
Manchester UTD: Johnny Evans returns back from injury which he suffered during the derby day victory against City. Rafael has been ruled out with a hamstring injury which kept him out of the clash between Sunderland. Long term absentees Kagawa & Nani are still sidelined.
Swansea (from): Vorm, Bartley, Flores, Williams, Britton, Lita, Michu, Graham, Hernandez, Dyer, Routledge, Monk, Shechter, Moore, De Guzman, Tiendalli, Ki, Tremmel, Agustien, Gower, Richards, Davies.
Manchester UTD (from): Lindegaard, De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand Evans, Buttner, Evra, Cleverley, Giggs, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Young, Hernandez, Welbeck, Rooney, Van Persie.
Both these teams have met twice in Premier League, which was during the last season where Swansea City became the first Welsh Team to be promoted to Premier League Era. And both the times, Manchester UTD have kept clean sheets having won 1-0 away at Liberty Stadium & 2-0 at Old Trafford.
On the contrary this year, Swansea City have been impressive both at home and away scoring goals with their passing style of football and defending with a demeanour that would be a treat for any football lover to watch. They were pretty unlucky to have lost 4-3 to Norwich at home, a fortnight back which they would want to turn into a victory this time around to make more history.
While last season’s stats shows us that the game would be a cakewalk for the Red Devils, Swansea would be desperate to end their run of two losses so that they can break into the top 10, which they are capable of with the current team built around Pablo Hernandez. But the Red Devils look a complete and a confident outfit to maintain their 6 point lead atop.
For Swansea – 3-3 (a draw)
For Manchester UTD – 3-1 (a win)