Premier League – Manchester City v Swans at 15:00 on Saturday, 12th December 2015
Referee: Robert Madley
Assistants: P Kirkup, C Hatzidakis
Fourth Official: M Clattenburg
The past few days and build up to the weekend’s visit to the Etihad Stadium has been dominated by the departure of Garry Monk, with the column inches of websites and newspapers across the land pretty much heralding the club’s decision as a mistake.
Sadly, those who have witnessed most, if not all, of his 76 game managerial journey with the Swans, will no doubt have sadly over the last month in particular, come to the same conclusion as our Huw (Jenkins OBE) – “Something needs to change”.
There are a plethora of potential reasons why things turned sour for Monk, but what is now more important than anything, is that those staff and players left behind from the Monk reign realise the magnitude and importance of the task that lay ahead, not just against Manchester City but for the rest of the season.
So what can we expect from a the team, led by one of the original Swansea legends and first team coach Alan Curtis, Under-21 gaffer Dave Adams, goalkeeping goal Tony Robers and Performance psychologist Ian Mitchell? It is extremely difficult to say, but if Curt’s initial pre-match discussions with the press are anything to go by, then we can expect a Swans team that will – at the very least – be competitive. As fans that is something we should expect as a minimum.
Personally, the players owe the club and its loyal fans a performance of committment, passion and perhaps most of all pride. There is little doubt in my mind, that if those qualities have been shown during the previous 2-3 months then Garry would still be at the club today and we wouldn’t be just one point above the relegation zone.
But it doesn’t pay to dwell on the past and we must all – fans, players, staff, drirectors – now move forward to support and help the club we love.
Unsurprisingly no-one is giving the Swans any chance this weekend and that opinion was unlikely to be any different whether Monk was in charge or not.
With the Swans up against a Manchester City side who will still be purring having qualified for the last 16 of the Champions League as Group D winners thanks to the 4-2 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach in midweek, you can see why everyone is going for a home banker.
Fortunately for the Swans – and the defence in particular – there will be no Sergio Aguero this weekend as he is still recovering from injury. Other notable absentees for the match will be Fernando, Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta. Given the blue half of Manchester’s abundance of talent though, they have plenty of quality players to fill the gaps left by any of those players!
Historically the Swans have never faired well at the Etihad, having conceded 10 times and only scoring once – courtesy of Wilfried Bony last season!
Therefore it could be a very long afternoon for the Swans especially when you factor in that have won 13 and lost two of their last 15 Barclays Premier League home matches and have fired in more shots on target than any other team in the top flight this season to date – 99.
If the odds weren’t already stacked highly enough against the Swans, then the referee for the game – Robert Madley – isn’t going to instill anyone from the Swans camp with confidence. Most of you will remember him for his “performance” against Stoke City back in October and the defeat at Watford earlier in the season.
We hate to see the Swans lose, but although we (hopefully) will see a gutsy, committed and proud display from the Swans, it’s unlikely that we’ll come away with any points unfortunately. Let’s just hope that we’re wrong on the points front!
Manchester City 3 Swans 1
What the Pundits Think
Paul Merson (Sky Sports) – Manchester City 3 Swans 0
Swansea; no manager and can’t buy a win. I see the misery continuing here before they get a new man in.”
Mark Lawrenson (BBC) – Manchester City 3 Swans 0
I have a bit of sympathy for Garry Monk, whose reign as Swansea boss ended on Wednesday. The Swans are not struggling because one or two of their attacking players are out of form, but because four or five of them are. That is unlucky, and not really Monk’s fault, but the upshot is that they have stopped scoring. It is not long since Monk was being talked about as being the next England manager but we have seen again how a few bad results can quickly change the opinion of fans and the people in the boardroom – it is just part of a Premier League manager’s life, I’m afraid. As for Manchester City, they have been very up and down recently and seem to have a problem when the opposition stop them playing. They have got to learn to overcome that and be prepared to fight harder to get the upper hand in matches. I don’t see that being a problem for them against Swansea, though, and Monk’s departure will not make any difference to the outcome.”
Steve Bower (MOTD Commentator)
Whatever your opinion about the decision to relieve Garry Monk of his duties, I personally think the club should have held their nerve. One of the worst possible destinations for Swansea at the end of a turbulent week is the Etihad Stadium. Swansea – who will have first-team coach Alan Curtis in charge for this game – need some new direction quickly, and the week’s uncertainty won’t have helped their fragile confidence. Their players have to show their professionalism and pride, or it could be another long afternoon.”
Last meeting at the Etihad Stadium
22 November 2014: Manchester City 2 Swans 1
Current League Form (Last 6)
Manchester City: LWLDWD
Predicted Swans Starting XI:
Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams (Capt), Taylor, Britton, Ki, Ayew, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Gomis.
At the Bookies
Those of you who fancy a flutter might want to check out the odds being offered on the game at the moment.
If you do fancy an away win, then you’ll gets odds of 10/1 on the Swans winning 1-0, 2-0 or 2-1.
Let us know your thoughts – whether on the game or the betting odds(!) using the comment box below 🙂