Manchester United vs Swansea Preview - Van Gaal's England Bow
The 2014/2015 Barclays Premier League begins this weekend, so much excitement and anticipation has been built up to the big day and it all begins at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Swansea City. These sides have met 23 times with Manchester United winning 11, Swansea winning 7, and 5 draws. Last season the sides met 3 times, the first time was just like this time, they met on opening day when Manchester United were victorious in 4-2 thriller, Robin van Persie & Danny Welbeck both got braces for the Red Devils.The Second time they met was at Old Trafford in the FA Cup. Routledge gave Swansea a dream lead which lasted minutes before Javier Hernandez equalized. It looked like it was going to a replay but then Wilfried Bony’s last minute header steered The Swans to an FA Cup upset. A week later they met once again at Old Trafford, United looked to get revenge on Swansea, and in the end they did as Antonio Valencia & Danny Welbeck both netted for the Red Devils in a 2-0 win.
Players to Watch
Both sides have made a few summer signings, and there will be some key players for each side. On Swansea, players to watch are Wilfried Bony, Bafetembi Gomis, Nathan Dyer & Gylfi Sigurdsson. For Manchester United, key players will be new signing Ander Herrera who has had a brilliant pre-season, Spanish internationals David De Gea and Juan Mata, and Wayne Rooney. The Bony and Gomis partnership could really flourish this season if they gel. It will be up to Gary Monk if he wants to play the two of them up front or if he will play with one striker. Wilfried Bony could also tuck in a bit behind Gomis. Nathan Dyer will use his pace and trickery and will give United problems down the wing, Icelandic ace Gylfi Sigurdsson has a lot of creativity and it will be his job to feed the ball to Bony and Gomis from central positions. There are a few match ups on the pitch that could be key, Bony v Smalling, Rooney v Williams, Young v Rangel, Sigurdsson v Herrera, and Shelvey v Fletcher.
Possible Starting Line ups
Manchester United: (3-4-1-2) De Gea; Jones, Smalling, Blackett; Young, Herrera, Fletcher, James; Mata; Rooney, Welbeck.
If the teams line up like this then we can expect to see Swansea use the wings a lot and try to get in and behind the United wing backs. Bony would drop off a bit into more of a Central Attacking Midfield position and Sigurdsson would come off the left wing like we have seen in the past. Ashley Young and Reece James would be playing in the wing back roles as we have seen in pre season and Mata would slot in behind Rooney and Welbeck.
Based on all the information given, it seems as if it will be a very exciting affair. Swansea will have confidence from beating Manchester United at Old Trafford for 8 months ago, but it is a new looking Manchester United. Home advantage could play a part which may force Swansea to sit back a bit, or they might go for it. You always want to get off to a good start and that’s what both these sides will be aiming to do. Prediction: Manchester United 3-1 Swansea City.
Do you agree with our assessment of the match? Tell us how you think it will pan out in the comments or on twitter @TBRFootball .
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