'We must make life hard for Manchester City'

11th December 2017
First team

Paul Clement has challenged Swansea City to make life difficult for Manchester City when the leaders visit the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side are 11 points clear at the top of the table after winning at second-placed Manchester United on Sunday.

The Old Trafford success was City’s 14th consecutive top-flight triumph, and they will set a new Premier League record if they make it 15 when they come to Wales.

But while Clement acknowledges that his team face a huge examination, he has told his players that City are not unbeatable.

“We are playing the team who are without question the best in the league right now,” said the Swans boss.

“They are showing they can win in lots of different ways. They can grind out results if they need to and I thought they were excellent against Manchester United. They were comfortable winners even though the scoreline was tight.

“But let’s see what happens on Wednesday. We have had an extra day’s rest and they will have had to put a lot of mental and physical energy into the Manchester derby.

“Of course we expect a difficult game, but we must also try to give them a difficult game.

“They have beaten Southampton, Huddersfield and West Ham recently thanks to late goals, so teams are pushing them.

“That’s what we want to do. We have to make sure it’s not an easy ride for them.”

Clement concedes that a Guardiola team in good form is as tough a prospect as the Swans can expect to face.

“You look at the style Pep has brought to the club,” he added.

“He couldn’t get it in place as quickly as he would have liked last season, but you can really see his imprint on this team now.

“They are very similar to his Barcelona sides. They have a lot of possession and a lot of attacking players on the pitch and they press really high to win the ball back.

“That really tests your concentration. You saw yesterday that City had 75 per cent of the ball in the first half, and that was at Old Trafford.

“We know we are going to have significant periods of the game where we don’t have the ball.

“That can be frustrating for me, for the players and for the fans, but we have to accept that.

“We have shown before that we can defend for long periods, like at Tottenham earlier this season.

“I am not saying we are going to defend for 90 minutes on Wednesday. We want to take the ball forward and produce some offensive moves and create some opportunities, but clearly we’re going to have to defend well.”


* Supporters are advised to arrive early for Wednesday’s game. The Liberty Stadium car parks will close 15 minutes prior to kick-off.

Landore park and walk is open and park and ride options from Felindre and The Rec near St Helen’s rugby ground are available.

The Jacks Zone will not open for this game.