This year’s Premier League season seems scripted by Hollywood and the story of Swansea City is no different.
An impeccably strong start under former Swansea captain Garry Monk faded into a depression, with the Swans legend getting sacked in the process. The winter months were spent near the relegation zone, but under the tutelage of Italian manager Francesco Guidolin, the Swans recaptured their form and have climbed to 11th in the table, with victories over Chelsea, Liverpool, West Ham United, and Everton coming since April.
Manchester City have had a fine season under Manuel Pellegrini, especially in Europe. Sergio Aguero has played his way within one goal of sharing the golden boot with Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur, who has 25 to lead all scorers. Despite injuries to Vincent Kompany and relative inactivity from Yaya Toure and David Silva, newcomer Kevin De Bruyne and a strong supporting cast has kept the team within Champions League contention for next year, though they need to match or better Manchester United's result tomorrow to ensure a top four finish.
Changes to be wrung
This matchup will be without many traditional starters from both sides.
Swansea will be without Ashley Williams, Neil Taylor, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lukasz Fabianski in order to rest them for the upcoming Euro 2016 competition. Jefferson Montero and Alberto Paloschi will also miss due to hamstring injuries accumulated in previous weeks. Ki Sung-Yeung will miss the game as well in order to fill a four-week military duty for his home nation of South Korea.
In Fabianski's absence, Kristoffer Nordfeldt will make his Premier League debut.
Manchester City will be without the aforementioned Kompany and Silva, along with powerhouse right back Pablo Zabaleta.
While the absences look daunting for Swansea, playing without their captain, goalkeeper and top performer of the year, last weeks 4-1 win over West Ham at Upton Park should give fans confidence on Sunday.
Top scorer Andre Ayew will feature and will hope to continue his heightened form. The Ghanaian winger has scored three goals and bagged an assist in the two previous wins over West Ham and Liverpool. Perhaps Bafetimbi Gomis will get the start up top too, as he hopes to capitalise after a late goal against the Hammers broke an awful drought for the Frenchman.
The matchup with Manchester City will also mark the return of favorite striker Wilifred Bony, who was sold during the January window last season. There has been speculation about the return of the Ivorian to the Liberty Stadium next year, but his return on Sunday will be well-received by fans. Expect a rousing ovation if he’s subbed on during the contest.