Preview: Manchester City v Swansea

Manchester City will look to continue their recent Premier League resurgence when they host Swansea at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Premier League
Date: 5 February 2017
Match Day 24
Kick-off: 15h30 (GMT+2)
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Referee: M. Dean
Assistants: I. Hussin, A. Holmes
Fourth official: L. Mason

Head-to-head summary:

Manchester City 16 11 2 3
Swansea City 16 3 2 11

Previous encounter:

Manchester City 1-3 Swansea 24/09/16 (Premier League)

Manchester City goalscorers: S. Aguero (9′, 65′ PEN), R. Sterling (77′)

Swansea City goalscorers: F. Llorente (13′)

Players to watch:

Pep Guardiola has touted Gabriel Jesus as one for the future of Man City, but if his start for the Citizens is anything to go by, then expect his impact to be felt throughout the rest of the season.

He scored a disallowed goal on his debut from the bench against Tottenham before netting one that counted in his first league start for the club against West Ham.

Such has been the hype surrounding the 19-year-old that Guardiola has had to repeatedly tell supporters that Sergio Aguero remains an important member of his team.

Gylfi Sigurdsson continues to be a shining light for a struggling Swansea side, who are recently on the up following the arrival of new head coach Paul Clement. The Icelandic midfielder and his manager are in line for achievement awards this month. In 23 Premier League games this term, Sigurdsson has created seven and scored seven vital goals.

Team form and manager quotes:

City’s super start to the season is a distant memory as they rack up points with an inconsistency never before experienced by Guardiola, who recently admitted his side were still some way off from fully understanding his demands.

While they smashed West Ham 4-0 last time out, a 1-0 loss to Liverpool was followed up by a 2-1 win over Burnley, and a 4-0 defeat of Everton before being held to a 2-2 draw with Tottenham. They come into this game in fifth place with 46 points, some 10 behind league-leaders Chelsea.

"Oh happy day!" ? #mcfc #mancity #manchestercity

A photo posted by Manchester City (@mancity) on

Ahead of the game, Guardiola told the club’s official website: “I am really impressed [with Swansea since Paul Clement took charge].

“I saw the game against Liverpool and this morning I started watching the game against Southampton. I am trying to find ways we can attack them and I can’t find it!

“It’s so complicated. When I see their games, I immediately see his [Clement’s] hands on the team. They are so well organised. There is no space between the lines, no space in the middle.

“When you attack outside, they defend really well the box. They can play the long balls and Llorente wins all the balls and they have quality players for the counter attack.

“It will be a real tough, tough game. I think one of the toughest games we expect before the end of the season will be on Sunday.”

Swansea boss Clement has picked up nine points from his first four games in charge with victories over Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Southampton. There were also defeats to Hull and Arsenal, but the club, in 17th place with 21 points are definitely on the up under their talented new manager.

Clement said on the Swansea site: “We know we have still got 15 games to go and there is a very hard one next at Manchester City.

“There’s a lot of football to be played this season, a lot of training sessions to get through and a lot of hard work still to be done.

“We just have to take each week as it comes. If we keep going the way we are, we will have a big chance.”

Team news:

Man City have no new injuries, with only Ilkay Gundogan sidelined with a knee injury.

Swansea have club captain Leon Britton back in contention after he overcame a calf problem, but new signing Jordan Ayew has not returned from his exploits at the Africa Cup of Nations.