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Played
December 23, 2012 1:30 PM GMT
Liberty Stadium — Swansea
Referee:‬ M. Oliver‎
Attendance:‬ 20650‎
 
29′ Michu
Patrice Evra 16′

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

  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


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 11 Jan 2014 Manchester United 2 - Swansea City 0
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FA Cup ‎(FA)‎ 5 Jan 2014 Manchester United 1 - Swansea City 2
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Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 17 Aug 2013 Swansea City 1 - Manchester United 4
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Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 12 May 2013 Manchester United 2 - Swansea City 1
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Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ 23 Dec 2012 Swansea City 1 - Manchester United 1
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Michel VormGoalkeeper
4ChicoDefender
6Ashley WilliamsDefender
21Dwight TiendalliDefender
33Ben DaviesDefender
7Leon BrittonMidfielder
9MichuMidfielder
12Nathan DyerMidfielder
15Wayne RoutledgeMidfielder
20Jonathan De GuzmánMidfielder
26Kemy AgustienMidfielder
25Gerhard TremmelGoalkeeper
4Sung-Yong KiMidfielder
29Ashley RichardsMidfielder
30Danny GrahamStriker
9Itay ShechterStriker
8Luke MooreStriker
1David de GeaGoalkeeper
3Patrice EvraDefender
4Phil JonesDefender
6Jonny EvansDefender
15Nemanja VidicDefender
25Antonio ValenciaMidfielder
16Michael CarrickMidfielder
18Ashley YoungMidfielder
23Tom CleverleyMidfielder
10Wayne RooneyStriker
20Robin van PersieStriker
13Anders LindegaardGoalkeeper
28Alexander BüttnerDefender
11Ryan GiggsMidfielder
18Paul ScholesMidfielder
24Darren FletcherMidfielder
14Javier HernándezStriker
19Danny WelbeckStriker
Players to Watch
Jonathan De Guzmán
Jonathan De Guzmán
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
31 4 1 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.
Ashley Young
Ashley Young
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 18
Games Goals YC RC
18 2 4 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.
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.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Manchester United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0