Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: Swansea vs Man Utd

Written by Sam Hopkinson

Two of the nascent season’s form teams come head to head in Sunday’s match—Monk’s slick Swans versus Van Gaal’s coalescing United. It’s a tough one to call, with several pundits predicting a draw.

To help with your FLIP Sports fantasy team selection for this match, we’ve picked out those players we’re expecting strong performances from:

DEFENDER

Chris Smalling

The Manchester United man makes FLIP Sports team for the second time this season, his form showing no signs of dipping. United are yet to concede a goal in the league, and Smalling is a major reason for that. The likes of Gomis will struggle to get much change out of this match, since the ex-Fulham defender is so good at aerial duels (he’s won almost 4 a game so far). The best way to score against this Manchester side has yet to be figured out this season—which is why we’re predicting a low-scoring game, maybe even a scoreless draw if Rooney fails to hit the heights again.

MIDFIELD

Jefferson Montero

The Swans possess one of the most in-form wingers in the league in Montero. The Ecuadorian was excellent against both Chelsea and Newcastle, causing their respective right backs all sorts of problems. He is ferocious and tricky with the ball at his feet and Garry Monk will be asking Montero to give Matteo Darmian a stern examination. For his part, Montero will want to improve on last season’s stats—7 assists isn’t bad, but he scored just once. If he keeps up his average of 1.7 shots on goal, he’s a good bet to bag some goals this year.

STRIKER

Bafetembi Gomis

When Swansea sold Wilfried Bony in the January transfer window, many predicted that they would struggle without the Ivorian. That has not been the case, in large part because of Gomis rising to the task. Having arrived on a free transfer, he seemed frustrated at being a permanent second-fiddle, but since being promoted to the first XI, he has impressed. With three goals already this season, he has also maintained an almost 90% passing success rate into the bargain, helping other Swans attackers into the game. For a striker that looked more likely to leave Wales than be a success there in 2014, Gomis will be wanting this season to be a memorable one—he has turned thirty years old and knows he doesn’t have many seasons left at the top.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Andre Ayew

Another free transfer for the Swans—and like Gomis, Ayew is looking like an absolute bargain. He’s already scored goals against Chelsea and Newcastle, and will have some bigger teams in the league scratching their heads as to why they didn’t try and sign him. Although more used to playing on the left, Ayew has started on the right for the Swans and looked deadly there. We expect him to start there again, knowing Luke Shaw is slightly weaker defensively than Matteo Darmian.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn't have football, he'd probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.