By Andy Hyslop
- Louis Van Gaal 50th game in charge of Manchester United
- United suffered two defeats against Swansea last season
- Jones still unavailable (illness)
- Fellaini available after suspension
Venue: Liberty Stadium Date and Kick-Off: Sunday 30 August 4:00pm (BST)
After their emphatic win over Club Brugge to seal a return to the Champions League, United face another away day. This time to South Wales and Swansea.
United didn’t enjoy the best of times against Swansea last season, losing both games 2-1. The first coming on the opening day at Old Trafford. They losing at the Liberty in late February. That defat put a dent in United’s hopes of finishing in the top four of last season’s Premier League.
Both teams have so far made an unbeaten start to the Premier League season, with United beating Tottenham, Aston Villa and of course drawing last weekend against Newcastle. Swansea drew on the opening against the Champions Chelsea, a game they probably feel they should have won. With Chelsea being down to ten men for the majority of the second-half.
The Swans then played Newcastle at home and once again their opponents went down to ten men. They won the 2-0 then travelled to Newcastle’s rivals Sunderland and came away with a 1-1, Gomis put them ahead only for Defoe to level it for Sunderland. Swansea captain Ashley Williams was lucky not to concede a penalty when he handled a shot from Rodwell.
The victory over Brugge in mid-week saw Ander Herrera making his first start of the season. He start in a deep role alongside Carrick and struggled, picking up a booking after 12 minutes. Januzaj started once again in the No.10 role but was subbed at half-time for Schweinsteiger with Herrera then going into the more advanced role. At the time we thought that Januzaj was taken off for tactical reasons but the manager confirmed today that he had picked a knock and will miss the game against Swansea.
This will be Louis Van Gaal 50th game in charge of Manchester United, fitting that’s it’s against Swansea, given they were the first opponents of United under Van Gaal. Van Gaal wants to see improvement from his team against Swansea, given that United didn’t get a point against the Gary Monks side last season.
Who Do United Need To Watch?
One player Manchester United defenders will have to keep a close eye on is French striker Gomis, who has started the season with three goals in three games. He joined Swansea at the start of last season, on a free transfer from Lyon. He struggled for games in the first half of last season due to the presence of Wilfried Bony. Gomis was given his chance when Bony was away at the African Cup of Nations and then Bony moved to Manchester City. Meaning that Gomis became the main striking for Swansea.
He finished last season with ten goals in 36 appearances for Swansea, scoring against United in the defeat at the Liberty in February. Of his ten goals last season, five came in the last six games of the season. Meaning he has scored eight goals in his last nine Premier League games, making him one of the form strikers in the league.
He is probably going to give United’s defence the first real test they received this season. Many have questioned whether United need a new centre-half and this game coming just days before the transfer window closes. Could give a real answer to that.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Mata, Herrera, Memphis, Rooney