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Premier League

  • December 23, 2012
  • • 13:30
  • • Liberty Stadium, Swansea
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 20650
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Swansea - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils look to maximise Christmas advantage

Swansea - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils look to maximise Christmas advantage

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The Welsh side have not tasted victory over Sir Alex Ferguson's team since January 1982, but three points could see them jump into eighth and European contention

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

SWANSEA CITY

Tremmel
Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies
Britton, Ki,
Dyer, De Guzman, Routledge
Michu
MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra
Valencia, Cleverley, Carrick, Young
Rooney, Van Persie

Michael Laudrup could welcome back Michel Vorm (groin) in goal for his side, with the Dutchman in contention again after missing his side's last 10 fixtures, but Gerhard Tremmel is expected to continue to deputise.

Leading scorer Michu should be passed fit after a knock sustained late on in Swansea's defeat at White Hart Lane, although the fixture may come too soon for fellow Spaniard Pablo Hernandez (hip).

Neil Taylor (ankle) remains a long-term absentee.

For the visitors, Nemanja Vidic made his first appearance in three months from the bench against Sunderland last weekend, but the trip to Wales could come too soon so a place on the bench is far more likely. Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed on Friday that Rafael (hamstring) will miss the game.

Shinji Kagawa (knee), Jonny Evans (hamstring) and Nani (hamstring) remain major doubts for the clash, while Anderson (hamstring) is unlikely to play again until the end of the month.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Swansea last beat Manchester United in January 1982, and went on to finish sixth in the top flight that season.
  • Michael Laudrup's side are currently amassing points at a rate that would see them end the season with 51 - five more than last campaign.
  • Manchester United have conceded 14 goals on their travels in the Premier League so far this season. At this point last term, they had let in three.
  • Despite Sir Alex Ferguson insisting that Robin van Persie has further improved United's attack, United had scored only one less league goal (42) after the same number of matches last season.
  • Since Nemanja Vidic (pictured right) arrived at Old Trafford in 2006, the club have conceded an average of 0.71 goal per game with him in the side. Without the Serbian, the number rises to 0.99

Players to watch

J. de Guzmán

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
While it is Michu who has been attracting the most praise for Swansea's recent eye-catching run of form, much of the side's moves pass through De Guzman on their way to the Spanish forward. Michael Laudrup will need the Canadian-born Netherlands international to be on top form if they are to break down a United defence likely to be reinforced by Nemanja Vidic.

A. Young

Position: Midfielder

Games: 9

  • 0
  • 3
  • 0
After a fairly inconsistent first season, Young has improved in the last couple of months and begun to show the sort of consistency that his price tag necessitates. With Swansea occasionally vulnerable to quick, direct wing play, and a host of predatory finishers to lay on chances for, Young should be expected continue his good form at the Liberty Stadium.

Editor's Prediction

Swansea have made a fine impact on the league again this year, dispelling the 'second season syndrome' notion. They have hit something of a rocky spell more recently, though, winning just two of their last nine Premier League encounters.

United, despite their much-publicised suspect backline, are unrelenting in attack, boasting a level of quality and variation amongst their attackers that few can match.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men have won their last five league games, and few would bet against them making it six on Sunday.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Swansea City

Manchester United

Wins
2
0
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Swansea City AFC SWA
Swansea City AFC Swansea City
Draw
Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
83%

Top 3 Predictions

Swansea City AFC SWA
1 - 3
Manchester United FC MNU
Swansea City AFC SWA
0 - 3
Manchester United FC MNU
Swansea City AFC SWA
0 - 2
Manchester United FC MNU

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