Swansea City vs Manchester City: Francesco Guidolin confident despite Swansea absentees

Posted Sunday, May 15, 2016 by PA

Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin insists his weakened side can ruin Manchester City's Champions League ambitions.

Skipper Ashley Williams, fellow defender Neil Taylor, goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski and joint top scorer Gylfi Sigurdsson are all rested for the Liberty Stadium clash ahead of their involvement at Euro 2016 next month.

Midfielder Ki Sung-yueng is also missing as he has returned home to undertake four weeks of duty in the South Korean military, while Jefferson Montero and Alberto Paloschi are likely to be ruled out by hamstring injuries.

The lengthy list of Swansea absentees would appear to represent grim news for Manchester United's bid to take fourth spot in the Barclays Premier League from City, and the European prize that comes with it.

United need to beat Bournemouth at Old Trafford to keep alive hopes of a top-four finish, but City require only a point from Manuel Pellegrini's farewell fixture to guarantee incoming manager Pep Guardiola Champions League football next season.

Swansea, however, are in fine form with six wins in their last 10 games, and last weekend's stunning 4-1 victory at West Ham was achieved without several of their first-team regulars.

"Our team is a good team and our players are good players," said Guidolin, who will be in charge for the first time since signing a two-year contract to extend his stay as Swansea manager.

"The aim is to finish the season well with a good game against Manchester City and get a good result for our position in the table."

Swansea would claim a top-half finish for the second successive season were they to beat City and Stoke lose at home to West Ham.

Their late-season rise under Guidolin's command has been based on strong home form, with Norwich, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool all beaten at the Liberty Stadium since the start of March.

"I hope I can make it five home wins, but it's not simple," said Guidolin.

"Manchester City are a top-four team. They are a team of great quality and they have many important players.

"We can play well on Sunday and I hope to see my team play against Manchester City like they have played in this recent period.

"To stop them getting into the Champions League is not a motivation.

"Our motivation is our target, and our target is to improve our position in the table."

Meanwhile, Pellegrini was confident West Ham could do his side a Champions League favour - but says they must now take advantage.

West Ham's victory over Manchester United on Tuesday put City back in control of their battle to finish in the top four.

Fourth-placed City surrendered the initiative as they were pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Arsenal last week and the mood at the Etihad Stadium consequently fell flat.

Pellegrini admits the players were down but he was sure West Ham - who were it not for a vastly inferior goal difference might still be in Champions League contention themselves - would still have a say.

Now City now go into their final game with a two-point advantage and Pellegrini hopes his side are fired up and ready to complete the job.

"This Premier League is not easy," said Pellegrini at a press conference. "Maybe all of you were thinking we were out but you must win all your games in every stadium and every game is very difficult.

"After the game on Sunday I was very disappointed, especially not to get the three points here with our fans, but I was sure United had a difficult task to do.

"I just was talking with the players, (saying) that we are not ready, (because of) the same atmosphere that everybody thought we were eliminated from the first four positions - but now it is in the other sense.

"I was not surprised, I was sure West Ham was a really tough game for United. I think the teams in the first four positions are the best teams of the season and there is a lot of difference between our team and United over the whole of the season.

"But Swansea are a difficult team when you play away. They have done well in the last two games. We must play a very good game to qualify."

Aleksandar Kolarov faces a fitness test ahead of the game.

The Serbia international missed out against Arsenal with a muscular injury and will be examined but captain Vincent Kompany (thigh), playmaker David Silva (hamstring) and right-back Pablo Zabaleta (calf) are all missing.

Midfielder Samir Nasri is back in contention after recovering from the illness which prevented him playing a full part in training last week.

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