Manchester United host Swansea City on Sunday and it is a great opportunity for them to keep the pressure on the top four.
The Red Devils are now only two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand and a Champions League spot is well within their reach. It would be a great achievement for the club after being stuck in sixth for the majority of the season.
In the previous meeting between these two clubs, United won 3-1 due to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic (2) and Paul Pogba. Mike van der Hoorn scored a consolation for the home side that day.
It was billed as a huge match for both clubs on Thursday, but United managed to take a point in the Manchester derby. Although it wasn’t a great performance, Jose Mourinho’s tactics ensured that the team maintained their unbeaten run and moved closer to the top four.
Their main problem this season has been the amount of draws they have accrued and with 13, they now have more than any other side in the league. This is a problem that the management must resolve this summer.
Swansea City remain in the relegation zone and they can’t afford to set up negatively at Old Trafford as every game is an opportunity for them to move closer to safety.
Last weekend, they picked up a crucial three points against Stoke City, but it wasn’t good enough to move out of the bottom three. They have players that can cause the home side problems and their all-or-nothing mentality could provide problems for United.
Manchester United have won three of their last four games and they will be a lot more confident heading into this weekend thanks to some good performances. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have both drastically improved lately and they will cause Swansea a headache or two during Sunday’s match.
Before their win over Stoke City, Swansea had failed to win in six Premier League matches and the negative momentum was coming at the wrong stage of the season. However, they will now believe in themselves again and there is reason to believe that they can get something at Old Trafford.
Mourinho will have to find a replacement for Marouane Fellaini after the Belgian was sent off against Manchester City. If Paul Pogba is fit, he will be the player to come into the midfield.
Paul Clement could opt to stick with the same team that beat Stoke, which would mean another start for Leon Britton. The midfielder was tidy and assured as ever last weekend and has a huge role to play during the run-in.
Manchester United Swansea City
Paul Pogba could return this weekend to take up his place in the Manchester United midfield. However, Marouane Fellaini will be suspended and Timothy Fosu-Mensah will be missing through injury. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will all be unavailable.
Leroy Fer and Martin Olsson are both expected to be fit to play some part at Old Trafford. Jack Cork could also be available, but Angel Rangel, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge will all be missing for the visitors.
Match Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Swansea
Manchester United haven’t been reliable at Old Trafford this season, therefore it is difficult to predict a win for them. However, Swansea must come to United and look to win the game, as their position won’t allow for any negative tactics.
This will benefit the home side as there should be more space to exploit in the attacking half. The Red Devils should record a win on Sunday and strengthen their top-four challenge in the process.