After the disappointing loss at Britannia saw them slip to third in the standings, Manchester City will be determined to get back to winning ways and keep their Premier League title challenge on track. Meanwhile, Swansea’s descend continued with a 3-0 home defeat to Leicester City, and the Swans again face an uphill task in a bid to end the barren run.
With the likes of Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal struggling, Manchester City had a perfect opportunity to get away from the chasing pack in the Premier League standings, especially having made some big-name signings in the summer. But, in spite of the arrival of Sterling, Delph, De Bruyne and Otamendi, it is clear that the Citizens remain far too reliant on their key men Aguero, Silva and Kompany. And with each of them missing at least several games this term, it is not that surprising that Manuel Pellegrini’s charges have failed to impress. While Aguero returned into action, only to suffer a new injury, David Silva is finally back in action and we could see just how important his presence is to the side in the 4-2 triumph over Borussia M’gladbach. And while the comfortable triumph over the team that had just beaten Bayern Munich was a perfect tonic for the Stoke City loss, it also saw Man City capitalize on Juventus’ slip up to win the first place in their Champions League group. This means that the spirits have improved since the difficult night in Stoke and out-of-sorts Swansea are probably perfect opposition for this moment in time.
Key men Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany are not yet ready to return into action as they battle heel and calf injuries respectively.
David Silva proved his fitness with a commanding display against die Fohlen, whereas Martin Demichelis is back from a tendon problem.
While many expected Swansea to struggle after the departure of Michael Laudrup, his successor Gary Monk did really well in keeping the results respectable and even exceeding expectations. In spite of seeing their star striker Wilfried Bony move to Etihad in January, the Swans started the current season strongly, with Bafetimbi Gomis and summer recruit Andre Ayew especially impressive. But, fast forward three months or so and the Liberty Stadium outfit find themselves in the danger zone, with their recent performances resembling those of genuine relegation strugglers. It is not that easy to pinpoint exactly what is wrong with the team, but Gary Monk has paid the price for the disappointing results, with three first team coaches following him out of Liberty. This means that Alan Curtis will be in the dugout at the Etihad, and he faces an unenviable task of ensuring his team avoid a beating in Manchester. And with Swansea taking just one point from their last five games, we seriously doubt that is going to happen.
There are no major selection worries for Alan Curtis, with only back-up full-back Franck Tabanou sidelined through injury at the moment.
Nevertheless, the caretaker manager is widely expected to make some changes to the side, with Jefferson Montero and Jonjo Shelvey pushing for a start.
Key Factors to Consider
- Man City won 13 of last 15 Premier League games at home
- The Citizens won eight of last nine home fixtures in all competitions, scoring 32 goals
- Both teams have scored in Man City’s last 11 home games on all fronts
- Swansea failed to score in 8 of last 12 matches
- Swansea lost five of last six away games, scoring just one goal in those defeats
The comfortable win over one of Germany’s leading sides may be enough to suggest that Manchester City are slowly raising their form and with Swansea players very low on confidence at the moment, the Citizens can be trusted to start strongly and create a decent advantage even before the half-time break.
Verdict: Man City/Man City
Best Odds: 4/5