Manchester City welcome Swansea City to the Etihad hoping that their poor form in the Champions League will not rub off on their Premier League campaign, which has picked up after an uncharacteristically low-key start to the season.
The champions, who are still unbeaten in the league, fell to their second defeat in three matches in the Champions League when they were beaten by Dutch outfit Ajax in midweek. City showed more spirit last weekend, coming back from being a goal and a player down at West Bromwich Albion to seal a thrilling 2-1 win.
Meanwhile, Swansea, who started the season on a high under new manager Michael Laudrup, have found it hard to maintain their form and have won just one of their last four league matches. Swans midfielder Michu is currently the joint-highest scorer in the Premier League, alongside Manchester United striker Robin van Persie and Newcastle United forward Demba Ba, with six goals to his name.
Where to Watch Live
The match will be shown live on ESPN UK and ESPN HD from 5.30pm BST.
City, who have landed in the 'group of death' in the Champions League for the second season in a row, are virtually out of contention for a place in the knock-out stages. Their latest defeat against Ajax leaves them with one point from a possible nine, with Borussia Dortmund leading the group with seven points. Roberto Mancini will hope that their dismal performance in Europe will spur the players on to greater things in the league, with City currently trailing leaders Chelsea by four points. Mancini's team, who are on a 33-match unbeaten league run at the Etihad, will look to continue this form as they chase down challengers Chelsea and Manchester United, who face each other this weekend.
Swansea, on the other hand, will be buoyed by their win over Wigan Athletic at the weekend, after managing just two points from the previous five league matches. Laudrup will deploy Michu as a striker as he did against Wigan and rely on his poaching skills to get something out of the game against the champions. The Swans lost the corresponding fixture 0-4 last season, when Sergio Aguero made his astonishing debut for City, coming on as a subsititute to score two goals and set up another. However, Laudrup will be encouraged by his side's performance in the reverse fixture last term, where they managed to take all three points off City in an impressive 1-0 win at the Liberty Stadium.
- Last five (all competitions, most recent first): L W W D W
- Last result: Ajax 3 - 1 Manchester City
- Last five (all competitions, most recent first): W D L W L
- Last result: Swansea City 2 - 1 Wigan Athletic
Manchester City: Mancini will be without David Silva, who has failed to recover from a hamstring injury sustained while on international duty. Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell and Maicon are all sidelined for this clash, while Yaya Toure is also doubtful with an ankle injury. James Milner, who picked up a red card against West Brom last week, is suspended. However, Mancini will be delighted by the league form of striker Edin Dzeko, who is expected to replace Carlos Tevez and start alongside Sergio Aguero up front.
Swansea City: Laudrup will be without defender Kyle Bartley for this clash, while wing-back Neil Taylor remains a long-term absenteewith a thigh injury.
Possible Starting Line-ups:
Manchester City (4-4-2): Hart; Richards, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Nasri, Y Toure, Barry, Sinclair; Aguero, Dzeko
Swansea City (4-5-1): Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies; de Guzman, Routledge, Britton, Ki, Hernandez; Michu
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top Ten Most Peaceful Countries in the World in 2013 [SLIDESHOW]
- Kim Kardashian Baby Girl: Suggested Ways Kanye West’s New Born Can Earn Money to Keep Up with the Kardashians [PHOTOS]
- 'Game of Thrones'-like Film, 'The Queen of the Tearling,' Casts Emma Watson as Lead Star and Exec Producer [PHOTOS]
- Asus Transformer Infinity Pad, Sony Vaio Duo, Toshiba Satellite, A Look at Intel's Haswell 4th Generation Ultrabooks and Notebooks [Photos]