Both teams have looked impressive during their respective cup runs so far this season with United beating Torquay United easily then producing a much tougher, ultimately more satisfactory performance and victory over the mighty sleeping giant that is Derby County. In their two previous ties Swansea has eliminated two teams that United have been beaten by in all three attempts in the league this season.
Liverpool were seen off 3-1 at The Liberty Stadium while Pompey were later despatched 2-1 on their own turf. On paper, two very impressive results.
A goal in both of those ties from James Loveridge would suggest he could be the man to look out for in this Swansea Youth team that plays its league games in the Youth Alliance U18’s South West League along with United’s previous opponents Torquay, who Swansea also beat this season.
Luke Williams (winger & favourite club – Man Utd) and Henry Jones (playmaker in central midfield) also appear to be in the goals but Loveridge has netted an impressive 8 times and looks the man to stop.
As for United. After a much changed line-up in the heavy defeat to Everton at Carrington on Saturday and the nil-nil draw at WBA the week before, the team and its personnel should take a more familiar look tonight.
Injuries to Lawrence and Rothwell sees them still missing and Luke McCullough looks likely to miss out after picking up a knock in the last round. Those injuries aside I believe there’s no other fresh worries. McGuiness will have top goalscorer Jack Barmby at his disposal and the in-form Mats Daehli to pull the strings.
Jack is already into double figures for the season and will be eager to add to that tally in front of what could be a sizeable audience, as for Mats, he has begun to fulfil the promise he showed last season after a slow start to the season.
Swansea are offering all under 16’s to get in free with a paying adult, all ST holders free entry to their usual seats (which seems a bit odd – that would suggest they’re not planningp on herding everyone into the same area of the ground, can’t see that not happening to be honest) and admission on the door is just £3 for adults……you can’t say fairer than that.
It’s going to be a long journey there-and-back, but the fans who are making the trip are sure to be in good voice (after all, we will be in the valleys won’t we!) so come on United, no sloppy start, plenty of passing and movement on what looks an exceptional surface and let’s reward ourselves with a quarter-final tie at either Moss Lane or Old Trafford next month.
UNITED, UNITED, UNITED!
The game will be screened live on MUTV with coverage starting from approx 6:30pm, but you can keep up-to-date with any team news and general United talk with me and all the usual Tweeters from a Swansea pub at about 3pm…..looking forward to it!
My predicted Line-Up: Sutherland / Love, Iaonnou, Blackett, Ekangamene / Rudge Hendrie / Januzaj, Daehli, Barmby / GvV
Bench: Coll, Wilkinson, Weir, Byrne, Rowley
Predicted Scoreline: Having not seen Swansea at all, not even any video footage, it’s difficult to suggest any areas we could target or take advantage of any weaknesses, but it’s safe to say a lot will depend on the performance of Jack Barmby and Mats Daehli with the aid of Adnan Januzaj to create the chances while Tyler Blackett has to be at his very best to orchestrate his somewhat makeshift and very inexperienced defence.
I feel like sitting on the fence with this one but I’ve backed this team from the outset to improve enough to make it through to another cup final due to their obvious technical qualities, if they don’t get overpowered and they keep errors to a minimum I can see them getting a positive result against anyone. For that reason I’m going for a very hopeful 4-2 win.
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