by Ian S. Palmer
Manchester United kicks off the second half of their English Premier League campaign with a home match against Swansea City of Wales at Old Trafford on Saturday, January 2. United has been slumping and fans have criticized manager Louis van Gaal for playing boring soccer this season. They have a point since there has been just 13 goals scored in nine league games at Old Trafford this season with United scoring 10 of them. Swansea has also struggled this year and it resulted in manager Gary Monk losing his job. Alan Curtis is now the interim boss. United enters the match after a 0-0 home draw with Chelsea on Monday while Swansea was held to a 0-0 draw in London by Crystal Palace.
Liverpool vs Leicester City – Pinnacle SOCCER BETTING LINE:
- Pinnacle currently lists Man United as the favorites at -178 with Swansea +626 and a draw at +313
Manchester United vs Swansea City – Head to Head:
- These two sides met at Liberty Stadium in Swansea earlier this season with the home side taking all three points with a 2-1 win. They also downed United 2-1 at home last season and pulled off a 2-1 upset at Old Trafford as well. Swansea has beaten United four times in their last five encounters in all competitions. Overall, the clubs have met just 26 times in the past with United winning 11, losing 10 and drawing the other five.
United has slipped down to sixth place in the standings with 30 points after 19 games and are 10 behind league-leading Arsenal and Leicester City. They haven’t won a game in their last eight attempts in all competitions and their title hopes will be dealt another setback if they lose to Swansea. They may even struggle to finish in the top four this season, which is needed to earn a spot in next season’s European Champions League. They’ve picked up their 30 points on eight wins, six draws and five losses with 22 goals scored and 15 allowed.
United has won four of their home matches along with four draws and a loss. They’ve shut their opponents out seven times at Old Trafford, but have failed to score themselves on four occasions. They have two wins, three draws and a defeat in their past six home fixtures and have outscored the opposition 10-3 at home. United has also kept three clean sheets away from home so far this season and have been shut out three times as well.
Swansea enters the clash in 17th spot with 19 points from four victories, seven draws and eight losses. They’ve scored 16 times and have allowed 24 against. They’ve kept five clean sheets this term, but have been shut out nine times. At home, they have just one win to go along with three draws and five defeats with seven goals scored and 12 conceded. They have only one win in their past half dozen away matches with a draw and four losses.
So far this holiday season, United hasn’t scored a goal as they were beaten 2-0 at Stoke before the 0-0 draw with Chelsea. Swansea has fared better with a pair of clean sheets in a 1-0 home victory against West Bromwich Albion before the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace. They desperately need more points though as they’re just two above the relegation zone. United is expected to be without Jesse Lingard, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw due to injuries. Meanwhile, all of Swansea’s hurting players are expected to be back in the squad.
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