Swansea v Man City - Saturday 15:00
Swansea failed to build on their draw with Chelsea, succumbing to a defeat away at Southampton. They were unable to hit the Saints on the counter, struggling to move the ball forward quickly out of defence, leaving Fernando Llorente isolated once again. Borja Baston started for the first time against Man City midweek, but will have to do more in this repeat fixture.
Whilst it’s obviously too early to be crowning Pep’s free-flowing side as champions, it is hard to see a team better equipped to go the distance. With balance, pressing, movement and swift passing, this team will be incredibly hard to defeat. Kevin De Bruyne clearly is the star man and looks an early favourite for player of the season, whilst Sterling continues to look more like the player Liverpool sold than the one City got last season.
The consistent accusation levelled at him is his lack of end product, but in seven appearances across all competitions this season the England winger has three goals and five assists. Guardiola’s charges are playing as a team, selfless in their passing to each other rather than going for goal themselves, and inevitable comparisons with Barcelona are bound to ensue.
Also pleasing for Guardiola is the habit his team is forming of scoring early on in games. They’ve scored the first goal in all of his nine matches in charge, and have scored within the first 15 mins in six of these games, including four of their last five. Sergio Aguero is of course back from suspension and having scored nine goals in his six appearances this season will supplant Kelechi Iheanacho in the starting line-up, despite the young Nigerian scoring twice in his absence. With the additional firepower and struggling opponents, we think there is value in backing Man City to score within the first 15 minutes at 3.75.