Preview: Manchester City v Swans
Swansea City go in search of one of the shock results of the Premier League season when they take on Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon (4.30pm).
The Swans have lost on all six of their previous Premier League visits to the blue corner of Manchester, although they were unfortunate not to get anything last season when they were beaten by a last-gasp Gabriel Jesus goal.
They will be widely expected to suffer defeat once more today against a Manchester City side who have been in sparkling form this season.
Pep Guardiola’s team are in action for the first time since being confirmed as champions courtesy of a second-placed Manchester United’s shock defeat to West Brom seven days ago.
There have been some celebrations at the Etihad this week, but Guardiola will expect his players to get back to business today as they target a record Premier League points haul.
The Swans, meantime, are hoping to extend the gap between them and the bottom three, which was cut to four points following Southampton’s draw at Leicester on Thursday night.
It could be just two points come kick-off this afternoon if Stoke can beat Burnley in their lunchtime game.
Carlos Carvalhal has urged his players not to worry about other results, and to focus instead on making sure they put points on the board.
Should they get any today against the top flight’s best side, the Swans’ confidence will be soaring heading into the four fixtures which are still to come this season.
Manchester City will be without top scorer Sergio Aguero after he underwent knee surgery in midweek, while midfielder Fernandinho is suspended.
Benjamin Mendy is thought unlikely to feature despite being close to full fitness after a long-term knee problem, while John Stones has also had injury issues of late.
The Swans are definitely without Luciano Narsingh, Wilfried Bony and Leroy Fer as well as Renato Sanches, who is not ready to play despite returning to Wales this week.
But Carvalhal hopes Sam Clucas (knee) will be fit after missing last weekend’s draw with Everton.
WHAT THEY SAID
Andre Ayew: “We need to prepare, listen to Carlos’ plans and try to apply them in the game. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
Andy King: “We’re under no illusions as to how tough this game is going to be. But we’ve got to go there and show some fighting spirit and make sure we stick together.”
Manchester City defender Kyle Walker: “There is still a lot of room for improvement. Every single one of us wants to be recognised as one of the greatest teams to play in the Premier League.”
LAST SIX MEETINGS
13.12.17 Swans 0 Manchester City 4
5. 2. 17 Manchester City 2 Swans 1
24. 9. 16 Swans 1 Manchester City 3
21. 9. 16 Swans 1 Manchester City 2
15. 5. 16 Swans 1 Manchester City 1
12. 12. 15 Manchester City 2 Swans 1
0 – Pep Guardiola has never lost back-to-back home league games at Manchester City, Bayern Munich or Barcelona. Manchester City were beaten last time out on their own patch in the Premier League by Manchester United.
7 – Jordan Ayew scored his seventh Premier League goal of the season against Everton last weekend, which matches his highest tally in the division. He has five games left in which to set a new personal best.