Manchester United-Swansea City Preview
Unbeaten Manchester United will be looking to add goals to their solid start to the season when they travel to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City on Sunday.
Louis van Gaal's United have struggled to find the net in their opening three Premier League matches, winning 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa before being held to a goalless draw by Newcastle United last time out.
But the veteran Dutch manager is hoping his players can take inspiration from their European performance in which the Red Devils scored seven in two legs against Club Brugge to reach the Champions League group stage.
Wayne Rooney scored a hat trick in Wednesday's 4-0 procession away in Belgium, and the goals came as a welcome relief to end a substantial drought for the United captain.
"I've got the goals, but more importantly it was a massive game for the club tonight," Rooney said after the match. "If I didn't have a strong character then maybe it might have affected me. But I know my qualities and what I bring to the team; even if the goals don't go in, I still bring a lot for my teammates.
"Obviously, as a striker, you want to score. Everyone goes back to the end of last season and makes a big thing of it. You have to get off the mark, I've understood that from a young age, and because of my name and who I am, it gets publicised a lot more. But that's part of my job; I have to accept that."
However, Rooney is now up to nine games without a goal in the Premier League - one short of the worst barren spell since his debut at Everton - and will be hard-pushed to break down a Swansea City defence who have conceded just one goal in two home games thus far.
Garry Monk's Swansea have been one of the most impressive sides in the division this season, drawing at Chelsea on the opening weekend and picking up four points since. The Swans also achieved a historic double over Manchester United last season, winning 2-1 both home and away.
United have strengthened heavily in the transfer market since those losses, but Swansea winger Nathan Dyer believes the team spirit at the Welsh club will trump the star quality of Sunday's visitors.
"They have made some unbelievable signings with the money that that they have got," Dyer said. "That means it will always be tough to compete against them. But we showed against Chelsea we are more than capable of competing with those teams.
"Clubs like that will always be able to spend money. Team spirit is the key. At Swansea we have shown that through the years. We have got better and better and hopefully that can continue and we can continue competing against the likes of United. We know if we do our work we can get the result."
Swansea have no reported injury concerns, meaning Dyer will have his work cut out to get a start on Saturday. Jefferson Montero and Andre Ayew have been hugely impressive out wide in the opening weeks of the season, with their pace and delivery ably assisting the in-form Bafetimbi Gomis up top, and Monk is unlikely to shuffle his pack.
United's only absentee is Phil Jones, meaning that the Chris Smalling and Daley Blind axis at the heart of the defence is likely to continue. However, Van Gaal will be tempted to switch things around in midfield in order to introduce Ander Herrera after an impressive performance at Brugge.