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Van Gaal era begins with favourable home encounter with Swans

| 15.08.2014

Manchester United (odds-on favourites to win at 1/3), start at home to Swansea City (8/1), having won their previous eight league matches there against them, and never lost in their history. The last time they even drew (4/1) was way back in 1934 in the old Division 2.

In each of the Red Devils’ last four top-flight games the Swans, they have scored exactly twice, and you can back them at 11/2 to win 2-0 again, or 8/1 for a 2-0 scoreline in their favour.

Even more worryingly for Swansea, they have lost seven of their last eight opening day matches, while Man Utd (5/1 title third-favourites) have never lost their first Premier League fixture of the campaign.

However, following a fantastic pre-season for United, they now find themselves potentially with a number of first team players for this matches at Old Trafford. New left back Luke Shaw is definitely out with a hamstring injury, joining Michael Carrick on the sidelines. Robin van Persie, Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and Rafael, meanwhile, all look set to miss out as well.

That means a start for Javier Hernandez, who has been strongly linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer, could be on the cards. New boss Louis van Gaal has favoured a 3-4-1-2 formation throughout pre-season with United, and the Mexican could partner Wayne Rooney up front.

But that shouldn’t be a problem for the Dutch manager, as Hernandez has a fantastic record against Swansea, having scored three times in his last four starts against them. He is 5/4 to net anytime against them again, or 7/1 to bag a brace or better.

The opening Premier League match of the 2014/15 season also represents a repeat of these two side’s first game last term, although played at the Liberty Stadium last time. The score was 4-1 to United under old boss David Moyes, and that scoreline again is priced at 22/1.

Swansea did win at Old Trafford, though, last season, in the FA Cup against a similarly fairly depleted side, missing Van Persie and Carrick as well. The Welsh outfit were 2-1 victors that day, so if you fancy them to beat the Red Devils by that scoreline again, you can back them at 28/1 to spoil Van Gaal’s party.

This match represents Rooney’s first match as permanent Man Utd captain. The 28-year-old has never scored against the Swans but, now being played in his favourite role and clearly high in confidence and spirit, take odds of 3/1 for him to net first. Rooney skippered the side last term four times, getting three goals.

While Swansea have had a Spanish exodus this summer, they have snapped up more attacking talent, with the likes of Bafetimbi Gomis, Jefferson Montero and Gylfi Sigurdsson coming in. They are 5/1, 7/1 and 6/1 respectively to score anytime. One striker who they have managed to hold onto it seems, is Wilfried Bony, who netted twice against United last term. He 10/3 in the anytime market.

In terms of injuries for the away side, Leon Britton, Marvin Emnes and Jay Fulton are all out, while Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge return.

Premier League Tips
Hertha to beat Hoffenheim
Schalke to beat Dortmund
Dusseldorf to win at Paderborn


Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.