Preview: Swansea v Manchester United

Jose Mourinho Marcus Rashford Manchester United

Manchester United will continue the defence of their EFL Cup crown when they travel to Premier League rivals Swansea in the last 16 on Tuesday.

League Cup
24 October 2017
Round of 16
Kick-off 19:45 BST
Venue: Liberty Stadium

Referee: B. Madley
Assistants: S. Bennett, E. Smart
Fourth official: R. East

Head-to-head summary

Swansea 18 5 3 10
Man Utd 18 10 3 10

Previous encounter

Swansea 0-4 Manchester United 19/08/17 (Premier League)

Man Utd goalscorers: Bailly (45′), Lukaku (80′), Pogba (82′), Martial (84′)

Players to watch

Tammy Abraham has made a very promising start to his time with the Welsh club, having already netted five goals while on loan from Chelsea this season. And with United having injury and form concerns at the back, the 20-year-old England youth international will fancy his chances of increasing his goal tally.

With Romelu Lukaku seemingly having lost his goalscoring touch, the Belgian may well be rested on Tuesday. Marcus Rashford, on the other hand, is looking increasingly clinical and confident in the opposition box and the 19-year-old already has two goals in the League Cup this season, together with a further three in the league and two in the Champions League.

Team form and manager quotes

The Swans have lost three of their last four league matches, including a 2-1 reverse to Leicester City last weekend which sees them above the relegation zone only on goal difference.

The Red Devils also lost on the weekend, some sloppy defence and a lacklustre all-round display away at Huddersfield Town resulting in a 2-1 defeat, their first loss of the season.

And after having made a blistering start to the campaign, questions are being asked about United after a poor showing in a 0-0 draw away at struggling Liverpool and an uninspired 1-0 win over an average Benfica team.

The visitors may be showing signs of vulnerability, but Swansea boss Paul Clement says it’s important for his men to prepare for the ‘best version’ of their opponents.

“When United come we have to expect a really good United side otherwise we are vulnerable. The performance against them in the league was a good one and it was tight until the 79th or 80th minute,” Clement said.

The English coach says his side must take responsibility also in terms of turning around a poor home record this season.

“In this climate we are lacking confidence at home. I don’t blame supporters for that, it’s down to us and I told the players this morning that only those in our group can sort it out,” added Clement.

“When we perform as we are capable of, then the crowd will be more excited about what they are seeing. It is down to us.”

While United boss Jose Mourinho was criticised for setting up negatively against the Reds, he was left questioning the attitude and application of his players after the weekend defeat to the Terriers and he pulled no punches in his assessment of their performance.

“When you lose a match because of attitude, that is really bad,” Mourinho said. “I don’t even remember a friendly match when our attitude was so poor. We could have a second goal and a draw but it would have been undeserved.

“If I was a Manchester United supporter, I would be really disappointed because you can accept losing because the opponent had more quality, but not because the opponent had more attitude.”

Team news

Swans striker Wilfried Bony and midfielder Renato Sanches will both not feature, while Clement is expected to give midfielder Roque Mesa another chance to prove himself with a rare start.

United are without Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Marcos Rojo, Michael Carrick and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Phil Jones is a doubtful starter after limping off injured on the weekend.