Preview: Manchester City v Swansea City

Kevin De Bruyne

Swansea are aiming to finish the season strongly but to do so they will need a big performance against champions Manchester City at the Etihad.

Premier League
Date: 22 April 2018
Round 35
Kick-off: 14H30 local time/20H30 HKT
Venue: Etihad Stadium

Referee: C. Pawson
Assistants: S. Burt, C. Hatzidakis
Fourth official: P. Tierney

Head-to-head summary

Manchester City 18 13 2 3
Swansea City 18 3 2 13

Previous encounter

Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City 13/12/17 Premier League

Manchester City goalscorers: D. Silva (27′, 52′), K. De Bruyne (34′), S. Aguero (85′)

Players to watch

With the league trophy safely stowed away, the visit of Swansea City may be a good opportunity for Pep Guardiola to rotate his squad. But having experienced winning leagues with games to play, the City boss has set his sights on finishing the season in the strongest possible manner, meaning the usual suspects should start and score against a Swans side fighting for their survival.

While Sergio Aguero is injured, the likes of Gabriel Jesus, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne will be left to run rings around their opponents.

Andrew Ayew and bother Jordan have been excellent in the fight against relegation for the Swans in recent months. They are match winners on their day, alongside the likes of Tammy Abraham and Wilfried Bony.

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Team form and manager quotes

Manchester City ended a run of three defeats, against Liverpool in the Champions League, and with rivals Manchester United in a stunning collapse, to claim the league title (after United failed to beat West Brom) and following their 3-1 win over Tottenham last time out.

Swansea, though have not won in their last five matches, last beating West Ham, and come into this game following two 1-1 draws, against West Brom and Everton. They are one place and four points from the relegation places.

Ahead of the game, Guardiola told his club’s official website: “In the past when I won the league five, six, seven games before the end, the next few games were not good and we were not able to keep going.

“But a good argument to keep going is the records. The important thing is to win the title but maybe the records can help us be focused against the teams fighting to avoid relegation.

“It would be uncomfortable to finish in a bad way.

“There are still games to play, and we have to respect the five opponents. But athletes need a target.”

Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal added: “We played very well against Everton. The performance was at the same level as when we beat Arsenal and West Ham.

“We were well organised offensively and defensively and we played with big character.

“This kind of performance makes me feel positive about the future.

“If we continue to play like that for the rest of the season, we will win more points.”

Team news

Sergio Aguero is out for the rest of the season for City after undergoing knee surgery. Fernandinho is suspended and John Stones remains out with a groin injury.

Sam Clucas (knee) is back for Swansea, alongside Mike van der Hoorn (shoulder), but Luciano Narsingh is out (ankle), as is Renato Sanches (hamstring).