Preview: Swansea City v Manchester City

Notre Dame firefighters tribute from PSG stars

Manchester City will set a new club record if they can beat Swansea City in Saturday’s Premier League clash in Wales. It could be a tough task for the Swans in trying to stop City making it six league wins in a row at the opening of their campaign.

Premier League
24 September 2016
Game week six
Kickoff: 22:00 HKT

Venue: Liberty Stadium (Swansea)

Referee: N. Swarbrick
Assistants: S. Ledger, D. Eaton
Fourth official: A. Woolmer

Head-to-head summary:

Swansea 15 3 2 10
Man City 15 10 2 3

Previous encounter:

Swansea City 1-2 Manchester City (21/09/16) EFL Cup

Man City goalscorers: Gael Clichy (49′), Aleix Garcia (67′)
Swansea City goalscorer: Gylfi Sigurosson (93′)

Players to watch:

Sergio Aguero returns from his three-game ban for elbowing West Ham United’s Winston Reid and, somewhat surprisingly, he’s under pressure from Kelechi Iheanacho for his place in the team. The Nigerian striker was called upon in Aguero’s absence to play in the 2-1 win at Old Trafford against Manchester United, as well as the 4-0 victory over Bournemouth, and the 19-year-old scored in both games. In addition, the forward also scored away against Swansea City in the Premier League last season – this is something City’s Argentine superstar hasn’t managed in four previous attempts at Liberty Stadium. Nonetheless, Aguero seems sure to start up front with Iheanacho likely shifted out to the left wing in place of the suspended Nolito. The Argentina international has hit nine goals in five appearances in all competitions in 2016/17.

Leroy Fer’s scoring form has been one of the few positives for a Swansea outfit that have struggled in 2016/17. With no wins in their last four Premier League outings, pressure is piling up on manager Francesco Guidolin. With rumours widely circulating that a loss to City could spell the end for Guidolin, the Italian will be hoping Fer can add to his three goals against the visiting Citizens. The central midfielder has bagged strikes against Burnley, Leicester City and Chelsea. It will undoubtedly be a big challenge for the Netherlands international as City will likely dominate ball possession for long periods. However, he has proved he is a man for a big occasion by scoring City’s second in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea earlier in September.

Team form and manager quotes:

#mcfc Instagram of the Day 801: You're next! #mancity #manchestercity

A photo posted by Manchester City (@mancity) on

Citizens manager Pep Guardiola has got the pulses racing in Manchester with a perfect start to his tenure in charge in all competitions. Even with the minor furore regarding Yaya Toure aside, City are playing some incredible attacking football with the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero all excelling in Guardiola’s possession-based system. With 27 goals scored in nine matches and a new club record looming, it appears there’s no stopping City in 2016/17. Yet, the Spaniard wants the club to remain grounded ahead of the encounter with Swansea. He told reporters, “I know we cannot win all our games and that we will lose eventually. I know this because that is how football works and it is impossible to win all the time.”

Meanwhile, former Manchester United assistant coach Ryan Giggs is reportedly being lined up as Francesco Guidolin’s replacement should the Swans lose to City on Saturday. Rumours are circulating that the Italian’s methods are not going down well with the players, and that a change is likely to be imminent. Nonetheless, the 60-year-old could buy himself more time with a good performance against the English visitors. He says he does not feel any pressure ahead of the clash with the Sky Blues. Guidolin told the media, “I know football is like this, there’s no pressure for me. It’s my job. I know my job. We have to be ready for Saturday. We can play another good game.”

Team news:

Nolito is suspended for City following his red card against Bournemouth. Vincent Kompany is doubtful after a hamstring injury although David Silva is expected to return. Ilkay Gundogan is also expected to play a part after missing out last Wednesday against Swansea. Yaya Toure is suspended by the club and Fabian Delph is likely to be ruled out with a calf strain.

Nathan Dyer remains a long-term injury casualty for Swansea after the midfielder underwent recent ankle surgery. However, the rest of Swansea’s squad is fit and available to play.