Manchester City v Swans: The big talking points
Swansea City will look to pull off one of the shock results of the Premier League season when they take on Manchester City this weekend.
Here are all the key talking points as the Swans get set to face the newly crowned Premier League champions.
Okay, so Manchester City recently went through their worst run of the season as they lost three successive matches.
They were beaten in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final by Liverpool and lost at home to Manchester United in the Premier League on a day when a win would have clinched the title.
But Pep Guardiola’s team bounced back with an impressive 3-1 triumph at Spurs last Saturday, and were confirmed as champions the following day when United were beaten by West Brom.
They are worthy champions. Manchester City have the best home record in the top flight – 14 wins, one draw and one defeat – and the best away record – 14 wins, two draws and one defeat – and have scored a whopping 93 league goals while conceding only 25.
With five games still to play, they have 87 points on the board, meaning Chelsea’s Premier League record (95) is within sight.
They will take some stopping this weekend.
If the Swans fall behind tomorrow, Carlos Carvalhal’s players should not panic.
After all, they have become known for their powers of recovery in recent months.
In the first 20 league games of this campaign, the Swans claimed just one point from a losing position, when caretaker boss Leon Britton was in charge for the 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace just before Christmas.
But it has been a different story under Carvalhal.
The Portuguese’s first game at the helm saw the Swans fight back from 1-0 down at Watford to claim a memorable 2-1 victory.
They have also come back after falling behind to beat Arsenal 3-1, and to claim draws against Leicester, West Brom and, most recently, Everton.
Sergio sits out
Manchester City are set to be without 30-goal leading scorer Sergio Aguero tomorrow after he had knee surgery in the week.
That is good news for the Swans given his undoubted class, but the presence of the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus mean Guardiola’s team will still be littered with attacking threats.
The Swans, meantime, have injury concerns of their own. Luciano Narsingh, Wilfried Bony and Leroy Fer all miss out, as does Renato Sanches (hamstring) despite his return from Bayern Munich this week. There is better news of Sam Clucas, who could return after missing the Everton game with a knee problem.
Kyle Naughton is set to reach a personal milestone having made Premier League appearance number 99 of his Swans career against Everton last weekend.
The right-back will become the 11th Swan to rack up a century of games in the Premier League, having joined the club from Spurs in January 2015.
Wayne Routledge (196 appearances) tops the list, while there are six other current Swans who have featured more often than Naughton to date – Angel Rangel (168), Nathan Dyer (160), Leon Britton (148), Lukasz Fabianski (144), Ki Sung-Yueng (135) and Federico Fernandez (114).
Blues under the blue moon
The Swans came within a whisker of claiming what would have been just their third positive result in 16 visits to Manchester City – both the Etihad Stadium and Maine Road – in February last year.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s 81st-minute goal cancelled out Jesus’ strike and looked set to earn Paul Clement’s team a valuable point in last season’s relegation scrap.
However, a controversial free-kick in stoppage time – which Clement felt was also taken from the wrong place – led to Jesus bagging a stoppage-time winner which was cruel on the Swans.
The club’s solitary victory at Manchester City came back in 1951, while there was a 1-1 draw in 1946.
And that’s all the Swans have had to shout about when it comes to away days under the blue moon.
Can Carvalhal’s men change all that this weekend?