Swans v Manchester United: The big talking points

24th October 2017
First team

Swansea City do battle with Manchester United tonight for a place in the last eight of the Carabao Cup.

Jose Mourinho’s men have already won once at the Liberty this season, but Paul Clement hopes it will be a different story this evening.

Here are all the key talking points heading into the game.

What price an upset?

History is against the Swans tonight. After all, their record in 57 years of the League Cup does not make very pretty reading.

Aside from 2012-13, when Michael Laudrup’s team ended up claiming the trophy at Wembley, the Swans have never got to the quarter-finals of this competition.

United, by contrast, have won it five times - most recently last season - while they have also finished as runners-up on four occasions.

Still, Clement would point out that past results will count for nothing come 7.45pm today.

How many Swans changes?

In earlier rounds of this competition, Clement has made some changes to his team but has not gone for the sort of overhauls favoured by some of his counterparts.

The chances are that however things had gone against Leicester over the weekend, there would have been some fresh faces in the Swans side to face United.

That now looks a certainty after Clement stated that having seen his team four of their five home games to date this season, it could be time for some different players to be given a chance.

The likes of Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Angel Rangel, Mike van der Hoorn, Ki Sung-Yueng, Roque Mesa, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge will all be hoping for an opportunity, while Leroy Fer is also back in contention having served a one-match ban.

Mourinho to mix it up?

United’s manager made nine changes in the previous round of the competition, when his team thumped Burton Albion 4-1.

Despite the mass reshuffle, United’s side was littered with international stars including Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

Mourinho suggested after the Burton win that those English clubs playing in European competitions might be better off not playing in the Carabao Cup at all.

Nevertheless, the Portuguese is a four-time winner of the competition. It remains to be seen how many changes he makes in round four.

Cup kings

The Swans have only faced United once before in knockout competition, and it went rather well.

It was in the FA Cup third round in 2013-14, when Laudrup’s out-of-form Swans side went to Old Trafford, a ground where the club had never previously won.

The history books were rewritten that day as Wayne Routledge put the visitors in front early on only for Javier Hernandez to level it at 1-1 four minutes later.

After Fabio’s 80th-minute red card, the Swans claimed a dramatic victory when Wilfried Bony headed home right at the end.

Something similar tonight would do very nicely.

Rapid response team

Both sides will be looking to make an amends tonight after disappointing defeats at the weekend.

The Swans failed to build on their victory over Huddersfield Town as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Leicester City.

United, meantime, suffered their first loss of the domestic season as they slumped to a shock 2-1 reverse at Huddersfield.

Mourinho was unimpressed, suggesting attitude had been key to his team’s bad day.

He will be expecting a response tonight, but then so too will Clement.