Out-of-sorts Swansea hope to end the barren run of results and cement their place in the top half of the standings, but they could be in for a difficult afternoon at Liberty Stadium. Second-placed Manchester City are flying high at the moment and they will fancy their chances of defeating their less illustrious opponents.
Nobody is really surprised to see Swansea struggling at the moment, given they have long ago secured Premier League survival, while also producing a major coup by winning the Capitol One Cup trophy. Michael Laudrup did warn his players not to celebrate too much and urged them to finish the season in style, but his prayers have gone unanswered. Since they reached the magic 40-point mark, the Swans have picked up just two points from next six games, while taking just one of possible nine from three home matches. This is enough to suggest they are going to experience all sorts of problems against in-form Manchester City, even if the players appear very motivated to return to winning ways. If Swansea were on top of their game, they would certainly have a chance of upsetting the Citizens at their Liberty Stadium, but given the circumstances, I just cannot see that happening. With the Swans largely struggling up front and their back line not as solid as it once was, Michael Laudrup’s side might have to settle for another home defeat.
With Neil Taylor returning into action last weekend, Michael Laudrup has a fully fit squad to choose from, and Nathan Dyer could be recalled to the starting line-up.
Too little, too late
A strong finish to the season proved enough for the Premier League trophy last term, but the Citizens haven’t stayed in the title race long enough to have a chance of mounting another such challenge this term. The reality is the team have been playing below their potential for most of the current campaign and they have only recently started living up to the billing. It appears that Roberto Mancini’s side couldn’t really cope with the pressure, and it is clear their showings have improved only after the title race was effectively over. Nevertheless, the Italian manager can be happy that his side are finally producing the football they are capable of, with five wins in last six fixtures and a decent showing at White Hart Lane proving the Citizens are in excellent form at the moment. With the FA Cup final against Wigan just around the corner, Manchester City will want to continue the rich vein of form at Liberty Stadium, and they do have an excellent chance to see off struggling Swansea.
With no fresh injuries to report, Mancini is set to field a similar side to that which beat West Ham last weekend, although Matija Nastasic is likely to be recalled.
Swansea no longer look like the team that were a force to be reckoned with at Liberty Stadium, and the lack of confidence is likely to be an issue following a six-match winless run. City, on the other hand, are playing their best football of the season, with Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and Carlos Tevez especially impressive.
Top pick: Away win 1.75 (3/4) @ bet365
Alternative pick 1: City with -1 Asian handicap 2.30 (13/10) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: City to win to nil 3.10 (21/10) @ SkyBet
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