Thursday, 20 November 2014

Three key battles that will decide Man City v Swansea

Nathan Lewis takes a look at three potentially significant matchups ahead of Saturday's game at Man City

Wilfried Bony v Eliaquim Mangala

In terms of goalscoring exploits, Wilfried Bony started the season rather slowly. While his performances were solid, if unspectacular, the Ivorian couldn’t quite find his shooting boots. Importantly, he has found the net a few times, but is yet to hit the sparkling form in which he finished last season. It is against Mangala, who has struggled for fitness in the last week and hasn’t exactly shone in the Manchester defence, that Wilf has a chance to impose himself.

With Kompany unlikely to play on Saturday, Mangala is without his captain beside him, which could unnerve him in going up against the strength and physicality of Bony.

Sergio Aguero v Ashley Williams

Man City’s feisty Argentinian frontman has scored 12 goals in the league so far from just 9 starts, making him this season’s current top scorer. Swans fans will vividly remember his Man City debut, where he scored twice in our first Premier League match, condemning us to a 4-0 opening-day defeat. Aguero has hardly stopped scoring since and is vital to the way Man City play, acting as a target man as well as providing many clinical finishes.

Keeping Sergio under control will be the remit of Ashley Williams, who is not one to fear a physical battle. If Ash can match the physicality of Aguero, and prevent the Argentinian striker from finding himself through on goal, then Swansea will be a long way towards keeping a clean sheet.

Gylfi Sigurdsson v Fernando

Sigurdsson has been the main creative outlet of the Swans this season, providing Wilfried Bony with plenty of chances, as well as creating a few for himself. On a few occasions, Gylfi has been kept quiet, most notably in the Chelsea match. At Stamford Bridge, the Icelander’s creative spark was dampened largely by the pressure applied by Chelsea holding man Nemanja Matic.

The Serb seemed to pop up next to Gylfi whenever he got the ball, and was able to prevent his opponent from taking control in the Chelsea half. Brazilian defensive midfielder Fernando will most likely be the man tasked with keeping a lid on Sigurdsson. If Gylfi can escape the clutches of his marker, he has the ability to dictate play, and provide plenty of ammunition for the more attacking players in Swansea’s line-up.

Nathan provides a weekly look back at our last four fixtures versus upcoming opponents - make sure to check back ahead of the Man City game to see what he's got to say. Give him a follow on Twitter @NathDavidLewis