MX23RW : Tuesday, September 28 05:06:08| >> :60:79:79:
Mar 31, 2018 at 3pm UK at Old Trafford
Attendance: 75,038
Man UtdManchester United
SwanseaSwansea City
Lukaku (5'), Sanchez (20')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Preview: Manchester United vs. Swansea City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides predicted lineups, team news and a full match preview of Saturday's Premier League clash between Manchester United and Swansea City.

Manchester United head into Saturday's Premier League clash with Swansea City knowing that victory will create a 12-point lead over fifth-placed Chelsea in the race to secure a Champions League spot for next season.

Swansea are unbeaten in their last two fixtures in the top flight, but their below-par display in the 3-0 FA Cup setback against Tottenham Hotspur has left Carlos Carvalhal with work to do ahead of the trip to Old Trafford.

Manchester United

Jose Mourinho watches on during the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion on March 17, 2018© Offside

Over the last two weeks, all of the talk at Old Trafford has been in relation to Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Jose Mourinho will be pleased to get back to action on the pitch as his side look to end the season with a flourish.

In most years, a return of 65 points from 30 league games would see United still competing for the top-flight crown and most United supporters will recognise that neighbours Manchester City have simply been too good this season, but the Champions League exit to Sevilla has left a storm cloud hovering over the Theatre of Dreams.

Rightly or wrongly, Mourinho's tactics during the second leg against the Spaniards have been heavily criticised, but it has taken away from an otherwise successful few weeks for the club with victories coming over Chelsea and Liverpool, and a spot being secured in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

United were clear favourites to progress through to the last eight of the Champions League, but the most optimistic of supporters could argue that it was a blip in what has otherwise been a campaign of progression under Mourinho.

The Portuguese has work to do in terms of the style of play which is expected at United, but the club remain on course to achieve their highest position since 2013 and are favourites to win a second FA Cup in three years. In terms of results, life is not all that bad under Mourinho.

Whether United finish in second place in the league and lift the FA Cup could depend on Romelu Lukaku, who is now up to 24 strikes for the season and who has contributed either a goal or assist in 10 of his 13 matches since the start of 2018.

The run of form has come since speculation began regarding the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal, and much of Mourinho's focus over the coming weeks will be finding a solution where both the Chilean and Lukaku are able to contribute in the same side.

Mourinho's priority this weekend will be getting another three points on the board but with Manchester City to come next weekend - a game which could see Pep Guardiola's team win the Premier League - expect Mourinho to start to consider his options ahead of an important trip across the city.

Recent form: LWLWWW
Recent form (all competitions): DWWWLW

Swansea City

Carlos Carvalhal watches on during the FA Cup game between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Swansea City on January 6, 2018© SilverHub

Swansea have emerged as the surprise package of the second half of the campaign but despite sitting in 14th place with a game in hand, the Welsh outfit are still far from securing their top-flight status for another 12 months.

The Swans have been superb at the Liberty Stadium, with the club's only setbacks at their home ground under Carvalhal coming against Tottenham Hotspur, but it has been seven matches since the club last recorded a win on the road.

During that period, Swansea have failed to defeat each of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Notts County and Sheffield Wednesday - and succumbed tamely at Brighton & Hove Albion - but Carvalhal and his players would have taken huge belief from having held Huddersfield Town to a goalless draw earlier this month.

Jordan Ayew's early sending-off left Swansea in the lurch but despite failing to record a single shot throughout the 90 minutes, a point was earned and it left relegation rivals Huddersfield contemplating a missed opportunity, which lingered over to their following game with Crystal Palace.

However, Ayew's dismissal means that Swansea are missing their star man for two matches in the league, and it is a significant blow when you consider that the Ghanaian has contributed six goals and two assists in the top flight this season.

Carvalhal must now rely on Jordan's brother Andre and Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham for goals, but neither of the pair has netted in the Premier League since the start of 2018.

On the whole, Swansea have sharpened up at the back under the guidance of Carvalhal, but a much-changed Spurs side made light work of their hosts in the FA Cup before the international break, meaning that they can ill-afford another heavy defeat in the North-West.

Swansea's remaining fixtures are tougher than most, with Manchester City and Chelsea still to come after United, so there is a need to give a good account of themselves this weekend.

Recent form: WDWLWD
Recent form (all competitions): DLWWDL

Team News

Alexis Sanchez in action during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United on January 31, 2018© Offside

Mourinho is likely to make changes to the team which began the FA Cup fixture with Brighton, with Sanchez expected to be recalled to the starting lineup.

Pogba may also be given another chance to impress after contributing for France against Russia earlier this week, while David de Gea will replace Sergio Romero between the sticks.

However, Ashley Young could be a doubt for the match, having sustained what appeared to be a knock to his knee during the closing stages of England's friendly with Italy.

Midfielder Scott McTominay may also miss out after withdrawing from the Scotland squad at the start of the week.

With Jordan Ayew sitting out the second of his three-match ban, Andre Ayew will likely come back into the Swansea team having been cup-tied for the FA Cup.

Lukasz Fabianski will replace Kristoffer Nordfeldt in goal, while centre-back Federico Fernandez could come into the side in place of Kyle Bartley.

Leicester City loanee Andy King is also available again and may be named ahead of Tom Carroll in the middle of the pitch.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw; Matic, Pogba; Mata, Sanchez, Martial; Lukaku

Swansea City possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Naughton, Van der Hoorn, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson; Ki, King, Clucas; Ayew; Abraham

Head To Head

Saturday's encounter will represent just the 32nd competitive meeting between the two teams, with United claiming 15 victories in comparison to 10 wins for Swansea.

Since the start of 2014, the Swans have put together a very respectable record against United, with four triumphs and a draw coming from 10 outings.

However, United are unbeaten in five and have not conceded in two matches against Swansea during the current season.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Manchester United 3-0 Swansea City

Two weeks ago, Mourinho was critical of United's performance in the win over Brighton, so expect an offensive display from the North-West side as the Portuguese looks to silence his detractors. Swansea are capable of causing a surprise at Old Trafford, but the manner of their defeat to Spurs would not have given them any confidence ahead of a trip to United.

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Carlos Carvalhal arrives for the Premier League game between Swansea City and Liverpool on January 22, 2018
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