It’s been a difficult end to 2015 for Louis van Gaal. His Manchester United side have been winless in eight games across all competitions- the first time it has happened since the mid 80’s. He has spent over £250m in the transfer market, but United have been knocked out of both the Champions League and Capital One Cup. Many fans are clamouring for him to go, with Jose Mourinho seemingly available as a ready replacement. Indeed, Mourinho scarfs found their way to Old Trafford in their last game against Chelsea, and the pressure will only increase on Van Gaal if he doesn’t turn things around fast.
United are still however only nine points off the pace in a season where nobody seems to want to win the Premiership, but their poor form, coupled with struggles in front of goal and some questionable tactics- starting Fellaini in midfield, the bizarre ommission of Morgan Schneiderlin in key games, and using Ashley Young at full back for example (having sold players like Rafael earlier), have seen fans reach the end of their tether.
However, unlike Chelsea, the United board have chosen to stick with their manager, and he will be in charge this weekend for the Red Devils’ first home game of 2016- against Swansea City
The Swans are currently flirting with relegation- they’ve won only one of their last nine games and are just two points above the drop zone.
The Welsh side, like United, are also having problems finding the back of the net. Since their 2-2 draw against Bournemouth in the third week of November, the Swans have scored only TWO goals in six games across all competitions.
Given Swansea’s current league form, United fans will ordinarily expect nothing less than three points, and will also want some goals to go with it. There were marginal signs of improvement in the last game against Chelsea despite the fixture ending in a goalless stalemate, and fans will be hoping that their team does not take two steps back against the Swans.
United fans have continued to flock to Old Trafford despite their side’s poor performances, and a look at livefootballtickets.com seems to indicate that the red half of Manchester will continue to be well supported, with fantastic demand for games involving the club.
Quite surprisingly though, Swansea have beaten Manchester United in the last THREE meetings between the two sides- all won by the same 2-1 scoreline. United have never beaten Swansea with Louis van Gaal as manager and the Dutch gaffer will be keen to get this monkey off his back. With a seemingly easy FA Cup clash against Sheffield United up next, a win against Swansea will see United get their season off track after it veered off the rails last month.
Manchester United Form (Last Five Games)
Man Utd 0-0 Chelsea
Stoke 2-0 Man Utd
Man Utd 1-2 Norwich
Bournemouth 2-1 Man Utd
Watford 3-2 Man Utd
Swansea City Form (Last Five Games)
Crystal Palace 0-0 Swansea
Swansea 1-0 West Brom
Swansea 0-0 West Ham
Man City 2-1 Swansea
Swansea 0-3 Leicester
United and Swansea’s most recent meeting, at the Liberty Stadium back in August, saw the hosts come from behind to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Gomis and Ayew.