Swansea City vs Manchester United 08/17/2013 Free Pick and Preview
Manchester United vs Swansea City
Saturday 17th August 2013 17:00(GMT)
The Line: Swansea 3/1 Draw 5/2 Manchester United 10/11 See the Latest Odds
TV: Sky Sports; NBC Sports
The late evening game on Saturday's opening day of the Premier League will see the defending champions Manchester United travel to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City. It appears from the outside that Manchester United are still coming to terms with the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and after 26+years in charge it is no surprise that it is taking a while for things to settle down. David Moyes has yet to make a signing as Manchester United manager and having lost out to Bayern Munich in the chase for Thiago Alacantra things have seemed to stagnate a little. Midfield has obviously been an area that Moyes has identified as a weakness. Rumours abound that United are going to hi jack Arsenal's bid for Gustavo but personally I'm not seeing that as a runner, Fellaini is probably on his way from Moyes former club Everton and I think Moyes see's the Belgian as the man to play that Anchor midfield role. But looking at the team that the squad that is present for United and there is still quite a side with Robin Van Persie leading the list of superstars, Wayne Rooney is also still a United player(for now) and alongside Wellbeck and Hernandez that is a seriously talented group of strikers. Van Persie has been sensational since his transfer from Arsenal and the dutch man continued on from where he left off last season with two goals in the Charity Shield game last weekend. United looked very solid at the back and were never under pressure against Wigan. The return to full fitness of Nemanja Vidic, the Manchester United captain is a huge addition for the team along with the maturation of David De Gea, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones it would appear as if United will be very strong in defence this season. The only area of question seem's to be around midfield but Cleverly, Carrick and Anderson look capable of doing the job in my opinion and with the exciting Zaha on the right and Wellbeck playing on the left or just off Van Persie I think Manchester United are just as strong this season as last, that may not be good enough for the league title as Chelsea and Manchester City have added significant strength in the off season but it is still a pretty strong position to be in.
Swansea City were the fairytale of last season, the Welsh side came up from the Championship two years ago played a swashbuckling brand of football and were a real success story. Brendan Rodgers then departed for Liverpool and Michael Laudraup came into the hot seat, Laudraup continued the fairytale last season with Swansea playing some exceptional football and winning the League Cup. On top of that Michu a player that was a near nobody prior to the start of last season was one of the best players in the league last year scoring 18 goals in 35 appearances. The success story of this summer for Swansea is holding onto Michu and Laudraup and the addition of William Bony, Jon Jo Shelvey will add strengtht in depth to the midfield and in Bony a genuine goalscorer who notched 31 goals in 30 games last year for Vitesse. Swansea have played well against Manchester United in their recent encounters and last year's game in the Liberty Stadium finished 1-1.
Tough opening game for the defending Champions, this game is one of the great match ups of the weekend and I think we should see a pretty open game with free flowing football played on the ground. We have two passing teams with really talented strikers but also defence's that look really solid. Add to that two very very good goalkeepers in Mart Vorm and David De Gea and really it's just a very good match up. For me this one is not a game I love and I couldnt find alot of value in the markets, I'm going to take Swansea on the Asian handicap +1. I havent been convinced by United's preseason and the Rooney rumours, half truths and untruths may be causing a distraction that Swansea can take advantage of on Saturday evening.