It is only the second week of the Premier League campaign and some have already claimed that the title WILL be going to one of the two Manchester clubs this season. Manchester United (7/20) travel to Swansea City on Saturday lunchtime knowing that victory will see the Red Devils move ahead of their title rivals – early momentum is key.
For Swansea (17/2), this is about building after an impressive defensive effort at Southampton last weekend. Paul Clement has done a solid job since taking over at the Liberty Stadium but the Swans must climb the Premier League table this term.
They will face easier opposition than United throughout the campaign but an early win against one of the big boys could be the catalyst for a successful season.
The Gylfi Sigurdsson Saga Is Now Over
An unwelcome distraction for the most part of August, Swansea have now agreed to sell Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton for an estimated fee of £45 million.
The Welsh outfit don’t have much time to focus on signing a replacement before Saturday’s fixture but they will almost certainly bring a few new players into the squad before the end of August.
Defensively, the Swans were solid against Southampton but they are going to have to show a little more attacking intent this weekend.
If they sit back too much against United, they will invite pressure and the Red Devils will be relentless in approach. Too gung-ho and Jose Mourinho’s side will pick the Welsh outfit off on the break – it is a tough one.
Swansea’s resources are limited and it would be fair to expect a similar starting line-up to the one that featured at St Mary’s on the opening weekend.
One positive for Swansea: the Welsh side, priced at 10/11 to hit the back of the net, have scored against United in 10 of the previous 11 fixtures between the two sides; that run could continue here.
United Proved Title Credentials Last Week
Mourinho’s men were rampant against West Ham last weekend, scoring four goals in what was United’s biggest Premier League victory in three years.
The Red Devils looked back to their brilliant best and Swansea will be up against it if they emulate that performance this weekend.
Romelu Lukaku, valued at 12/5 to score the opener here, bagged a brace on the opening weekend and plenty of punters will fancy the Belgium man to extend his scoring run at the Liberty Stadium.
With Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba thriving, Lukaku should see plenty of service at his new club and he could even pip Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane to the Premier League Golden Boot award.
For United, getting off to a fast start is vital. The Red Devils are looking to win the Premier League title for the first time since 2013 and Mourinho could be the man to bring the good times back to Old Trafford.
Fixtures against the likes of West Ham and Swansea are the kind of games that United HAVE to win in order to compete at the top of the table – expect the Red Devils to come out fighting in south Wales.
United have never had things their own way at the Liberty Stadium and that is unlikely to change here. The Swans have won two of the last three meetings between the two sides on Welsh soil and they will be confident of causing plenty of problems for Mourinho’s men on Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the hosts, United’s class may shine through in the end and I fancy a 3-1 victory for the Red Devils. It might not be as comfortable an afternoon as the final score suggests but the Red Devils should get the job done. The 9/4 available for Mourinho's side to win with both teams scoring is VERY appealing indeed...
Swansea City 1-3 Manchester United (11/1 with 888Sport)
*Odds correct at the time of writing – click here for the latest betting markets*