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Swansea v Man Utd: Moyes to stifle Swansea once more

| 16.08.2013

In what is the most eagerly anticipated game of all of the opening Premier League clashes, all eyes will be on the Liberty Stadium to see how Manchester United fare in their first league game without the red nose of Sir Alex Ferguson glowing in the dug out.

It’s far from the easy ride David Moyes will have hoped for as he craves early points – a desperation exemplified by a recent paranoid outburst about the fixture list being rigged – but it comes as no surprise to see the reigning champions of England priced up as 10/11 favourites to claim the spoils.

The Welsh club, who will be dropping a host of fresh players into the deep water that is the English top flight here, are 3/1 underdogs on their own patch, with the draw available as a 5/2 alternative.

Of all the new faces to be making their debut for the Swans, the one whose performance the masses will be most eager to see is that of Wilfried Bony.

The Ivorian was prolific in the Eredivisie, scoring 31 goals in 30 starts for Vitesse Arnhem last season. This frankly ridiculous haul resulted in him being linked with a host of top sides all over the continent, but Michael Laudrup convinced him to move to south Wales after brokering a £12m deal.

He’s available to open the scoring on his Premier League bow at 8/1 and there’s sure to be plenty of takers, especially after seeing him get off the mark with a brace in the club’s Europa League qualifier against Malmo.

Playing in a side as creative as Swansea’s, that creates so many chances in and around the penalty area, it’s difficult to envisage a poacher with Bony’s dead-eye accuracy enduring as frustrating a spell in England as those of failed Dutch league imports Mateja Kezman and Afonso Alves.

However, he may have to wait a little longer than day one to score his first league goal, or so Moyes’ record against this opposition would suggest, at least.

In four meetings with the club as Everton manager, he collected 10 points and didn’t concede a single goal. This suggests he’s developed a foolproof scheme to thwart the Welsh outfit’s passing game.

He will have no doubt impressed this upon his new United charges and this could make backing an away clean sheet at 7/4, if not a win to nil at 23/10, the best bets on offer here.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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James Middleton