By common consent, Swansea City are playing in the vein all Premier League newcomers should; with an uninhibited "go for it" sort of air which piles all the burden on their established opponents. Tomorrow evening in South Wales, Brendan Rodgers is hoping the load proves too heavy for the champions.
In their audacious climb into the top 10, Swansea remain unbeaten at the Liberty Stadium, but it is another stat on which Rodgers is concentrating. If Manchester City prevail against Newcastle United in the 3pm kick-off then all eyes will point to the evening encounter in South Wales. Manchester United would be eight points behind their nearest and undearest and anything but a victory would be unthinkable.
"All the pressure will be on United, that's for sure," said Rodgers yesterday. "These are games they need to win. That's the reality. When you are at a big club like United and you are investing millions and millions you're normally judged on the games you should win.
Unsurprisingly, Rodgers is keen to prey on any tension. He came away with a point from the visit to Anfield a fortnight ago and plainly feels this will be anything but a foregone conclusion. "We won't have any fear," he said. "The fundamental idea of our game won't change. We will be creative, offensive, but have a tactical discipline. We're not feeling like if we lose the game it doesn't matter – because it does."
The last time Rodgers was involved against United happened to be the 2008 Champions' league final when he was Jose Mourinho's assistant. The penalty shootout was an experience to make his mind flash back whenever his mobile phone goes missing. Rodgers said: "If you had to put your mortgage on someone it was John Terry. When he took that penalty we were all in a huddle and I was so confident John would score I zipped my mobile into a pocket because I didn't want it to lose it in the mêlée. It will take more than winning on Saturday to get over."
Rodgers will be relieved to call on Scott Sinclair, a former Chelsea employee himself, after a tight hamstring restricted him to the bench at Anfield. Neil Taylor is also fit after the left-back missed Wales's win over Norway in midweek with a bruised ankle.Reuse content