Preview: Manchester United v Swans
Swansea City will look to topple Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United when they return to Premier League action at Old Trafford this afternoon (3pm).
The Swans were well beaten by Tottenham Hotspur in the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final in their last game before the international break.
But they will travel north with confidence having taken 18 points from their 10 Premier League games since Carlos Carvalhal took charge at the end of December.
Had the season started at that point, the Swans would be sixth in the Premier League table.
As it is, they are 14th – and three points clear of the relegation places – with eight games of the campaign remaining.
The Swans remain far from safe, therefore, but they are in much better shape now than they were when Carvalhal was appointed.
This afternoon the Portuguese faces his fellow countryman, Jose Mourinho, a long-time friend and inspiration.
Mourinho has never lost to the Swans in nine previous encounters during his time with Chelsea and Manchester United.
He will expect to extend that sequence today as United look to cut the 16-point gap between them and leaders Manchester City.
But Carvalhal has proved already in his short Swans reign that he can upset the top clubs, and he will look to do the same again.
Manchester United are set to be without Phil Jones, while Scott McTominay, Ashley Young and Sergio Romero all picked up knocks while on international duty this week.
But the good news for Mourinho is that Ander Herrera is expected to be available after an injury lay-off.
The Swans are again without the suspended Jordan Ayew, while Angel Rangel, Leroy Fer, Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony all remain on the injured list.
But Carvalhal is boosted by the return of Andre Ayew and Andy King, who are back in contention having been ineligible for the FA Cup last time out.
WHAT THEY SAID
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata: “We play at Old Trafford against Swansea and a victory would be very important to show that we want to maintain our position in the table.”
Federico Fernandez: “It will be tough for everyone during the run-in, but we just have to try to focus on every game we play. Every point is massive for us and we have to take as many as we can.”
Leon Britton: “We have had some big results against the top teams over the years and since the manager came in we have picked up some great wins, so that gives us belief for this weekend.”
LAST SIX MEETINGS
24.10.17 Swans 0 Manchester United 2
19.8.17 Swans 0 Manchester United 4
30.4.17 Manchester United 1 Swans 1
6.11.16 Swans 1 Manchester United 3
2.1.16 Manchester United 2 Swans 1
30.8.15 Swans 2 Manchester United 1
2 – Manchester United have lost only two of their last 42 home Premier League games, with both losses coming against Manchester City.
10 – The Swans have taken 10 points from their last seven top-flight encounters with Manchester United. Their most recent positive result against the Red Devils was last April, when Gylfi Sigurdsson’s late free-kick secured a 1-1 draw.