- The Red Devils have won four and lost none of their five previous Premier League meetings with Swansea.
- Swansea City have only won one of their last seven Premier League away games.
- Swansea’s victory in the Third Round of the FA Cup last weekend was their first ever at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Manchester United looks to put the skids on a three match losing streak when they welcome Swansea City to Old Trafford on Saturday (watch live at 12:30pm ET on NBC, online via NBC Sports Live Extra).
David Moyes’ side has endured a torrid start to 2014 having dropped a 1-2 decision to Tottenham on New Years Day before being beat 1-2 by Swansea in the FA Cup and by Sunderland in the League Cup. The poor run of form marks the first time since 2001 that United has lost three consecutive matches.
Before the Spurs loss, United enjoyed a sustained run of form in the league winning four straight. Now, sitting seventh in the table, they must look to regroup if they are to close the five point gap of fourth-placed Liverpool. Despite Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie both ruled out for Saturday’s fixture, expect the Red Devils to come out firing as they seek revenge for the pain of losing to Swansea in the final minute of last Saturday’s contest.
The Swans will use that victory as a boost heading into this weekend’s match. Michael Laudrup’s side has endured a poor run of form of late in the league, having failed to win in their last six matches. The last time the Wales outfit claimed victory was the 3-0 drubbing of Newcastle back on December 4th.
Nani (hamstring) and Marouane Fellaini (wrist) join Van Persie and Rooney on the sideline for United while Jonny Evans (knock) and Phil Jones (knee) are questionable.
For Swansea, Pablo Hernandez (hamstring), Roland Lamah (abductor), Michel Vorm (knee) and Michu (ankle) all remain out.
What They’re Saying
United manager David Moyes: “I can sense in the dressing room that there’s an urge to fight our current position.”
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup: “We’ve shown it is possible [to win] if you believe in it. In recent games we have played with a lot of confidence, and we just needed a win. I think it will be more difficult than last week. I expect them to come at us and they have to win this game. We have to be ready for that because we know it will be tough.”
If United lose to Swansea at home for the second time in a week, Old Trafford might burst. I don’t see it happening, though. Expect Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez to step up big for the Red Devils.
Everton is finding its form, and that has Roberto Martinez with half a mind to keep dancing.
Martinez admitted his Jason Derulo fandom after video surfaced of the Spaniard dancing in a suite this week, and had to admit he felt like continuing the show after Everton crushed Stoke City 3-0 on Saturday.
The Toffees climbed above Merseyside rivals Liverpool on goal differential and into eight place in the Premier League. They are finally looking like the club supporters expected to see this season.
[ MATCH RECAP: Stoke City 0-3 Everton ]
Everton has back-to-back 3-0 wins in the Premier League. Before that was a loss to Swansea City which followed a trio of draws against Man City, Spurs and Chelsea.
Martinez’s club looked fit to score even more after Romelu Lukaku, Seamus Coleman and Aaron Lennon scored first-half goals on the road at the Britannia Stadium.
Look at that face… a living dance hall. Of course we kid, and are even more grateful for Martinez’s personality.
Mauricio Pochettino is playing it cool, but Tottenham Hotspur has a real chance of winning its first-ever Premier League title.
[ MORE: Foxes beat City to stay top ]
Following Spurs’ 1-0 win over Watford at White Hart Lane on Saturday — the scoreline doesn’t reflect how dominant Tottenham were — optimism levels were high.
Four Premier League wins on the spin and six in all competitions will do that.
With Tottenham now second in the PL table and five points behind surprise leaders Leicester City, are they genuine title contenders?
“I feel very proud of the players,” Pochettino said. “We need to be calm. We are in a very good position in the league but the philosophy from the beginning of the season has been to go step by step. We are a very young squad so it is important to keep going and take every game and competition and be ready to compete.
“We need to be careful and always work in the same way. In football you can never stop. You always need to improve and fix a different situation. We still need to be more clinical, we created a lot of chances today but need to score more.We have a good idea of how we want to build the squad for the future and it is important to take this philosophy and deliver it.”
More tellingly Pochettino was also quoted as saying: “In football belief is the most important. If we believe, it can happen.”
In a season where Leicester City top the Premier League, why can’t Spurs launch a serious title challenge of their own with 13 games to go?
[ MORE: 3 things we learned as Leicester demolished Man City ]
As Pochettino mentioned, scoring more goals should be the main aim for Spurs as they had 26 shots against Watford and 66 percent of the ball but only scored once. But with the best defensive record in the PL and the best goal differential, Spurs are right in this title race.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is feeling quite buoyed by his first goal of the season.
The 29-year-old striker helped ensure his side would keep its early lead with a second half goal, and hopes the 2-0 win over Norwich City is just the latest step in the quest to avoid Villa’s first ever Premier League relegation.
[ MATCH RECAP: Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City ]
Villa is now eight points back of 17th place Newcastle, and seven of the Canaries. It’s still a 4-point journey to 19th, but Agbonlahor and company are taking it proverbially: one game at a time.
From the BBC:
“We are going to keep fighting till the end. That is all the club expects from us. Take it game by game. There is no reason why we cannot escape. We showed fight today. We had a game plan: we defended well and attacked well.”
The Villans are facing a relatively tough stretch of matches with Liverpool, Stoke City, Everton and Man City on the docket.
What odds would you give Villa of pulling off the latest in a long line of Premier League great escapes?
- Magpies climb out of relegation zone
- Baggies continue to struggle under Pulis
- Mitrovic gets winner as hosts control match
Aleksandar Mitrovic‘s first-half goal gave Newcastle United a week above the drop zone in a 1-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion at St. James Park on Saturday.
The Magpies leapfrog losing Norwich City for 17th place in the Premier League with 24 points.
West Brom is now winless in five and sits five points ahead of Newcastle, good for 14th place.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
The Magpies provided an inspired start to the match, piling on pressure and winning a pair of corner kicks. Aleksandar Mitrovic was saved at the goal line by Boaz Myhill in the most clear-cut opportunity.
Craig Gardner won a free kick on the edge of the 18, but Georginio Wijnaldum leapt off the wall to help deflect it out for an eventually unsuccessful corner.
Cheik Tiote scored from close to 40 yards out, but Lee Mason consulted with his linesman before disallowing the goal because Aleksandar Mitrovic was in the flight of the ball and offside.
Mitrovic had the next laugh, though, sprung on a break by Jonjo Shelvey and deservedly finishing his chance past Foster. Newcastle owned a 1-0 lead.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Wijnaldum flashed a header over goal of Townsend’s cross from the right, and it was still 1-0 in the 66th minute. Townsend then poked a low shot off the right post moments later, and Moussa Sissoko flashed a prime shot wide.
The Magpies were leaving themselves open to an equalizer, and it’s not as if the Baggies didn’t find a chance or two (though mostly through set pieces).