Manchester City have started the season well, however, they’re yet to capture their form of last season, despite still being unbeaten. They’ve won five and draw three out of their opening eight games, winning their last three, including a last gasp win against West Bromwich Albion, with ten men. With their envious home record, they’ll certainly be looking to take all three points against a Swansea side that has had a mixed start to the season.
Swansea started the season in exhilarating style, taking apart both Q.P.R. and West Ham, scoring eight goals and conceding none in the process, they then went on a winless run of five games, with draws against Sunderland and Reading, while losing to Stoke, Everton and Aston Villa, giving Paul Lambert his first win in charge of The Villians. After beating Wigan last week, however, The Swans confidence will be restored, and a win against the Champions could kick-start their season, and give them a new lease of life.
Manchester City will be without a few players for the game, with James Milner suspended, Maicon, Jack Rodwell and Javi Garcia all injured, while key players Yaya Toure and David Silva are both doubts for the game. A talking point for the game could be whether or not to start Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, who came off the bench to score two goals against West Bromwich Albion to win City the game. He’s recently claimed the title ‘super-sub’, much to his dismay. He got a start in mid-week where Citys disaster of a European Campaign (for the past two years, now) continued, as they lost 3-1 to Ajax, in Amsterdam. The towering striker is generally seen as a Plan B for the team, to bring on if it isn’t going right and offer The Citizens another avenue to explore, offering them a new dimension to their play, but can’t always find his goal scoring boots when he starts a game, despite being the clubs top scorer this season with five goals. Tevez and Aguero should start in the attack for me, though it is extremely hard to drop a striker who has scored two goals, a match-winner as well, Tevez and Aguero give the side more fluidity and help the team with ball retention which could be important as Swansea are a pressing side, that aim to get on the ball and retain it themselves, so the movement and skill of Aguero and Tevez could cause more problems and help open up the Swansea defence.
Swansea have a couple of injuries as well, with Neil Taylor and Kyle Bartley both out, with the former being out for a long time after fracturing his ankle in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland. Swanseas stand-out player this season has been the Spanish midfielder Michu, though he could be starting upfront against Manchester City, where he played against Wigan and carried on his impressive scoring record of six goals in the first eight Premier League games, and with a chance conversion of 33% this season, the Spaniard will be looking to take any chance possible at the Etihad, which he will have to, as there’ll be limited chances against a defence as strong as Manchester Citys. Fellow Spaniard Pablo Hernandez will also want to keep his place in the team, on the right hand side ahead of Nathan Dyer, after he scored the game winning goal last season against Manchester City.
However, an extremely important, yet quite undervalued, part of the Swansea side is the midfield triangle of Jonathan De Guzman, Leon Britton and Sung-Yueng Ki, whose tidy passing and creative play makes the Swansea team tick, linking the defence to attack perfectly. Between the three, the average open play pass completion rate is 92% and they’ve also created twenty chances, with De Guzman being the main creative outlet creating eleven out of twenty of those chances, and with impressive final third passing stats, the on-loan Canadian-born midfielder will be looking to unlock the City defence and supply his teammates.
I can’t look beyond a City win for this game, but Swansea are a good side, and even more so, an extremely good footballing side, so expect a good match with lots of technical ability on display, but ultimately, the result going to Manchester City.
Where To Watch: Manchester City vs. Swansea City