Swansea - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils look to maximise Christmas advantage
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
By Alex Hess
Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies
Dyer, De Guzman, Routledge
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.
- Michu, with his two goals against Norwich, has already matched the tally that made Danny Graham the club's top scorer last season. He is 2/1 to score anytime with bet365.
- 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
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Top 3 Predictions
Swansea City 1-3 Manchester United
- 20.82 %
Swansea City 0-3 Manchester United
- 11.14 %
Swansea City 0-2 Manchester United
- 8.06 %
|Premier League (EPL)||11 Jan 2014||Manchester United 2 - Swansea City 0|
|FA Cup (FA)||5 Jan 2014||Manchester United 1 - Swansea City 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||17 Aug 2013||Swansea City 1 - Manchester United 4|
|Premier League (EPL)||12 May 2013||Manchester United 2 - Swansea City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||23 Dec 2012||Swansea City 1 - Manchester United 1|
|2 Mar 2014||Swansea City 1 - Crystal Palace 1||EPL|
|27 Feb 2014||Napoli 3 - Swansea City 1||EL|
|23 Feb 2014||Liverpool 4 - Swansea City 3||EPL|
|20 Feb 2014||Swansea City 0 - Napoli 0||EL|
|16 Feb 2014||Everton 3 - Swansea City 1||FA|
|20||Jonathan De Guzmán||Midfielder|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|Jonathan De Guzmán|
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.