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Premier League

  • August 15, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 46802
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Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Swansea City

Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Swansea City

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Brendan Rodgers' side face a daunting introduction to the top-flight but may fancy their chances against a club that has never won an opening day Premier League fixture at home


PROBABLE LINEUPS

MANCHESTER CITY (4-3-3)

Hart
Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov
De Jong, Yaya Toure, Barry
Silva, Dzeko, Balotelli
SWANSEA CITY (4-5-1)

Vorm
Rangel, Williams, Caulker, Tate
Sinclair, Allen, Britton, Dobbie, Dyer
Graham

Manchester City’s new £38 million man Sergio Aguero is expected to start the game on the bench for the hosts with manager Roberto Mancini insisting he is not yet ready to play 90 minutes.

The game also comes too soon for compatriot Carlos Tevez, with the striker having only recently returned to the club for training; Kolo Toure, meanwhile, remains suspended.

Swansea could hand debuts to a host of players including record signing Danny Graham, Leroy Lita, Wayne Routledge and Steven Caulker.

The club also have two new goalkeepers, after allowing Dorus De Vries to move to Wolves, meaning Jose Moreira and Michel Vorm will both be fighting for a starting spot with the latter tipped to get the nod.

However, one man who looks set to miss out is captain Garry Monk who has a foot problem and may have to wait to make his Premier League bow.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • Manchester City’s top scorer last season in the Premier League was Carlos Tevez with 20 goals. However, the next best were a long way behind; Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure both managing just six each.
  • However, Roberto Mancini's men had the best defence in the top-flight last season, conceding just 33 goals, including 18 clean sheets.
  • Yet City have never won at home on the opening day of a Premier League season. In five attempts they have drawn the lot.
  • Swansea City, meanwhile, have a similarly poor record on opening day. They have failed to win their first fixture for the last five seasons.
  • However, they will make history on Monday night when they become the first Welsh side ever to play in the Premier League.
  • The omens do not bode well for Swansea, however, the last time the two sides met, on 7 April 1984 in the old Division Two, they lost 2-0 at home to Manchester City.

Players to watch

M. Balotelli

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
There are few quiet moments when Mario Balotelli is around and with Aguero and Tevez both expected to miss out, Mancini may turn to the temperamental Italian, who turned 21 on Friday, to provide the goals on Monday night.

The Italian largely had a game to forget last weekend, in the Community Shield, substituted before the hour mark, however he will surely relish taking on the Premier League new boys at home.

D. Graham

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Swansea’s record signing Danny Graham, brought in from Watford for just £3.5m over the summer, quite the contrast to the £38m City shelled out for Aguero’s services.

The 25-year-old was the Championship’s top scorer last season with 24 goals, and has already netted in Swansea colours in pre-season, hitting the winner in the Swans’ win over Real Betis.

Editor's Prediction

Swansea City could hardly have asked for a tougher opening fixture in their first ever foray into the Premier League and winning away from home against the Manchester billionaires looks like a big ask.

City’s performance last weekend suggests Mancini’s men are still more a highly talented collection of individuals, than a team, yet anything other than a home win will be viewed as a major shock.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Manchester City

Swansea City

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Manchester City FC MNC
Manchester City FC Manchester City
Draw
Swansea City AFC SWA
Swansea City AFC Swansea City
86%

Top 3 Predictions

Manchester City FC MNC
3 - 0
Swansea City AFC SWA
Manchester City FC MNC
2 - 0
Swansea City AFC SWA
Manchester City FC MNC
4 - 0
Swansea City AFC SWA

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