Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City make the long trip to Swansea on Saturday looking to maintain their 100% start to the Premier League season. The Catalan’s quality as a coach was universally known of course, but even his most devout disciple must be surprised by the speed at which he has affected this City team.
City have also got off to a winning start in Europe with a 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach and are safely through to the next round of the EFL Cup after beating this weekend’s opponents Swansea. This was Manuel Pellegrini’s last game in charge in May, and a 1-1 draw that day ensured Guardiola took over Champions League club.
Swansea have made a patchy start to the league season and face a daunting task against the league leaders. Head coach Francesco Guidolin kept the Swans up last year, and there seems little reason to expect much better this term. The TV money available in the Premier League is so crucial that survival is the name of the game for clubs like Swansea. The supporters however, might look to a decent cup run to inject some excitement into the season.
City have made a perfect start to the Premier League season, with their standout performance being the 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. Their other wins have come against opposition you would expect them to beat, but they’ve put them to the sword in a professional manner and scored 15 goals in five games.
Swansea meanwhile, have four points from five games with their sole victory coming away at Burnley on the opening day. Since then the Swans have been beaten by Hull, Leicester and Southampton but did hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw in South Wales. Guidolin’s men rode their luck that day however, and but for some poor officiating and profligate Chelsea finishing could have been badly beaten.
Predicted Line Ups
Swansea Starting XI Man City starting XI
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Injuries and Suspensions
Nathan Dyer is a long term absentee for the home side, but record singing Borja Baston did make his first start in the EFL Cup in mid-week and could make his full Premier League debut on Saturday. Club captain Vincent Kompany returned to action City on Wednesday night against Swansea, but took himself off the pitch late on. City are waiting on doctor’s results to see if the Belgian will make it, but he may not be risked. Sergio Aguero returns from suspension which is a major boost for the Citizens. Nolito is suspended however, after being sent off for violent conduct in last week’s 4-0 win over Watford.
It is hard to think of a good reason why City won’t continue their perfect start to the season. Swansea are team who try to play football the ‘right way’, but will need an extraordinary rearguard action to keep Guardiola’s side out. Swansea fans can rightly point to the good result they earned against Chelsea at the Liberty recently, but they were dominated for most of that game. The difference with City is that they will convert that dominance into goals, and it is hard to see anything other than a comfortable away victory. City will be beaten this season, and how they react to that first defeat may dictate whether or not they go on and win the title. For the time being however, their winning streak shows no sign of stopping and should continue at Swansea.
Verdict: Away Win