Swansea City vs Manchester United preview, betting tips: Mourinho’s men to maintain 100% record

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Manchester United to win with -2 handicap @ 14/5 with Coral

Manchester United to win 2-0 @ 5/1 with Coral

Manchester United to win and Romelu Lukaku to score first @ 3/1 with Bet365

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After qualifying for the Champions League last season despite finishing sixth in the Premier League, by virtue of Europa League success, there is just one mission for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United this term: to win the title.

Money is no object in Manchester, for City or United, and the early signs are the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Everton in the summer could be the catalyst for a real challenge this term. An impressive pre-season culminated in a brace in Sunday’s 4-0 win over West Ham at Old Trafford for the Belgian, and he will be hungry for more this weekend. The main reason we are backing him to score first in a wincast on Bet365 is because everything goes through him in an attacking sense.

It is a common theme in Mourinho’s teams that one striker scores a lot of goals in a season, because they are the focal point. The United boss has not changed tactics from last year, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals, meaning he will ask the team to look for Lukaku at every possibility.

The other betting tips are very similar, with a -2 handicap and a 2-0 win, both for the visitors, suggested. The attacking threat, other than Lukaku, depends on how the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial perform, because all too often last season they struggled to find the net when Ibrahimovic didn’t score. Mourinho is not one for putting teams to the sword away from home, and Paul Clement may have them drilled and in a good shape to frustrate the visitors, but surely not for the entire game.

Manchester United's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Super Cup football match between Real Madrid and Manchester United on August 8, 2017, at the Philip II Arena in Skopje. / AFP PHOTO / Nikolay DOYCHINOV

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Going forward, Swansea have already come under scrutiny after failing to score in the 0-0 draw at Southampton last weekend. Clement has an issue with not being able to play wantaway midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, having already admitted that if the right price is offered, the Icelander will be on his way. His goals and assists, particularly linking up with Fernando Llorente up front, galvanised the Swans after Clement’s arrival, helping them beat the drop at the end of the campaign. A big goal in particular was his freekick at Old Trafford, securing a vital 1-1 draw. Without Sigurdsson, they lack a leader and a talisman and that will cost them, particularly in games like this.

But the hope is that Tammy Abraham, who impressed so much on loan from Chelsea to Bristol City last term, will step up a level. His pace will offer an outlet on the break, as will the likes of Wayne Routledge and Jefferson Montero, but in reality, Swansea will find it tough to get past Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba at the base of the visiting midfield.

Key battle: Leroy Fer vs Paul Pogba

The biggest impact Matic’s arrival will make on is Paul Pogba, because it offers him the freedom to use his power and technique to cause problems for the opposition as he did against West Ham. As good as Ander Herrera is as a midfielder, he doesn’t have the physicality or discipline to hold his position, so Pogba always seems shackled next to him.

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Leroy Fer will be looking to stamp his energy on the game too, so whoever comes out on top in this particular battle will likely drive their team onto victory. In all likelihood, that will be Pogba.

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