Manuel Pellegrini’s three-year reign as manager of Manchester City will end in South Wales as they take on Swansea City aiming to secure the point they need to achieve qualification for next season’s Champions League.
The home side are finishing with flourish and victory here will make it five in a row at the Liberty Stadium, but it was on their travels where they excelled last weekend as they took a very strong West Ham United team apart with a dynamic and clinical attacking display. Despite resting several key players, they were sharp from start to finish and it was important that a couple of key players showed glimpses of their better form as Ki Sung-Yueng and Bafetimbi Gomis both found the net.
All of this has combined to ensure that Head Coach Francesco Guidolin will remain in charge going into 2016-17, with the Italian having rescued the club from a very difficult position to one of the utmost mid-table comfort. His job over the summer will be to add more depth to what is a very talented side when on form and playing with confidence, and if he can there would be a reasonable chance of the Swans making a bid to at least match their best Premier League finish of eighth.
After twice letting a lead slip against Arsenal fears were abound at Man City that they would fail to make the top four and leave new boss Pep Guardiola to prepare a season in the Europa League, but a defeat for rivals Manchester United in midweek has made them heavy favourites once again. They have been given a second chance, and it is one that City will not want to pass up in their attempts to give the popular Pellegrini the perfect send-off.
It has been a successful period in charge for the Chilean, although there are those who feel he could have made more of the quality he has had at his disposal, but the club has progressed on the European stage and added three trophies to its collection. A point is all they need to finish fourth due to their vastly superior goal difference compared to United and they should have it within them to get it, but with Guardiola expected to make wholesale changes upon his arrival this could turn out to be the end for several of the players as well as Pellegrini.
Swansea will continue to rest several players who will be involved in Euro 2016, so it will mean a first start in goal for Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Pablo Zabaleta are all unavailable for Man City, who will welcome back Samir Nasri after a bout of illness.
Last Meeting: The penultimate weekend of last season saw Man City squander a two-goal lead before going on to run out 4-2 winners in an entertaining clash. A deflected shot from Yaya Toure and a nice finish from James Milner put the visitors comfortably ahead, but Swansea responded through Gylfi Sigurdsson and the in-form Bafetimbi Gomis. It was in the balance, but Toure put Man City back ahead before Wilfried Bony sealed it by scoring against his former club.