David Moyes will again be unable to call upon the services of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney as he looks to avoid Manchester United losing a fourth game in succession for the first time since 1961. Ahead of a second meeting with Swansea City in a week, Moyes explained that he has sent Rooney on a warm-weather break to aid his recovery from a groin injury, while Van Persie remains sidelined with a thigh problem.
“Well, with Wayne we've sent him away on a hot-weather break," Moyes said, according to Manchester United’s official website. "His groin isn't quite recovered yet so we've sent the fitness coach with him and he's away with his family. It will give Wayne a bit of break.
“We always hoped to be able to do it at some time in the season and the groin is not as good as we'd hoped. Hopefully we can get him fit for [the] Chelsea [match] but we'll see how he is. He's away and will do some work with the fitness coach. Robin is going to be a little while. We'll do everything we can to get him back quickly.”
After going down to Tottenham, Wilfried Bony headed a late winner for Swansea last weekend before Sunderland got the better of United in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semifinal. Yet, despite the evidence to the contrary, Moyes does not believe there has been any problem with the performances of his side, other than capitalizing on their opportunities going forward.
“A lot of the performances have been fine but things have gone against us, decisions have gone against us,” he said. “They haven't helped but I think we've played pretty well. We just need to be a bit more clinical in the final third and make things count more. All the things you look for in terms of stats have been pretty good but the only thing that matters is goals and we've not been scoring enough recently.”
Swansea’s victory last week in the FA Cup come as a welcome distraction after their six Premier League matches without a victory leaves them lying on the fringes of the relegation scrap. Coach Michael Laudrup is keen for his side to start picking up results in the league, but expects it to be tougher at Old Trafford second time around.
“At least we have shown that it’s possible [to win there],” he said, according to Swansea’s official website. “In recent games we have played with a lot of confidence, and we just needed a win. Sometimes that win comes when you least expect it and that came at Old Trafford. On one hand we know it is possible and we have confidence going there.
“On the other hand I think it will be more difficult than last week. I expect them to come at us and they have to win this game. And we have to be ready for that because we know it will be tough.”
Swansea will again be short of options out wide with wingers Pablo Hernandez, Roland Lamah and Nathan Dyer ruled out. Manchester United should welcome back Phil Jones, but fellow-defender Jonny Evans faces a later fitness test.
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match will kick off at 12.30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by NBC, with a live stream available via NBC Sports Live Extra.