Swansea City are in action for the first time since the midweek departure of manager Garry Monk as they face Manchester City the Etihad Stadium, a stadium at which they have never avoided defeat.
Home boss Manuel Pellegrini has himself seen his position become the subject of speculation over recent weeks, but on Tuesday he finally ended Man City’s wait to finish top of a Champions League group, with a brace from Raheem Sterling helping them to a hard-fought win over Borussia Monchengladbach. It was an impressive display all round from the £49m man, while the sight of David Silva getting back on the scoresheet for the first time since returning from injury was a very pleasing one for all concerned.
For all of their attacking quality, the defence again looked vulnerable against the German club and conceded two fairly avoidable goals. There is plenty to work on when skipper Vincent Kompany is out of the side, as without him they appear insecure and prone to errors, which Stoke City totally exploited in their last Premier League outing, after which Pellegrini must have been relieved that he was not left to reflect on a thrashing.
Although the visitors will have a point to prove, on paper this seems the ideal game for Man City to ensure they finish Saturday back at the top of the Premier League, with Swansea having been truly wretched in recent months. The sacking of Monk was unquestionably harsh, but it was just symptomatic of the cut-throat nature of modern day football management, and chairman Huw Jenkins was becoming increasingly concerned at the club’s slump towards the drop zone.
Monk did brilliantly during his time in South Wales as both a player and a manager; only leading Swansea to their highest number of top-flight points and an eighth placed finish last season, but ever since going down 1-0 at Watford in September things have gone horribly downhill. The whole squad has just suffered a collective loss of form, but whoever comes in will be aware that the club has a crop of players that is well capable of competing higher up the Premier League. Getting anything here, however, will be a tough ask.
Martin Demichelis is back for Man City, but they are still without top scorer Sergio Aguero and captain Vincent Kompany due to injury.
Caretaker boss Alan Curtis could make changes to the Swansea line-up, with potential recalls for Eder, Federico Fernandez and Jonjo Shelvey.