Under-fire Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal remains in the dugout at Old Trafford and will look to relieve some of the pressure with a win against lowly Swansea this weekend.
There were signs of improvement for United in Monday’s draw with Chelsea, but ultimately another goalless draw – their seventh of the season in all competitions – was all they had to show for it.
The result did at least end a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats, but they haven’t won in six matches and have slipped out of the top four as a consequence.
Now four points from the Champions League places after their poor run, United need a win to get back on track; but the Welsh side are somewhat of a bogey team for the Red Devils, coming out on top in the last three meetings between the two.
Swansea are also in need of the points; they enter 2016 sat just one place and two points above the drop zone after a mixed year.
The visitors have seen a slight upturn in fortunes under caretaker boss Alan Curtis, who made eight changes for Monday’s game at Crystal Palace which ended in a creditable goalless draw; he now faces something of a selection dilemma for this weekend.
The Swans go into the weekend unbeaten in three matches and with clean sheets in all of those; with Manchester United’s woes in front of goal, Saturday is unlikely to be a goal fest.
The hosts are missing Jesse Lingard as well as long-term absentees Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia; Rooney looks set to lead the line having been reinstated after his dropping at Stoke on Boxing Day.
For the visitors, Wayne Routledge and Federico Fernandez could return after missing the match at Selhurst Park, whilst striker Eder is nearing full fitness and the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andre Ayew could be recalled to the starting XI.
League Position: Manchester United – 6th (30 pts); Swansea – 17th (19 pts)
Last Meeting: Swansea 2-1 Manchester United (August 30, 2015)
Form: Manchester United – DDLLLD; Swansea – LLLDWD
Key Players: Manchester United – Anthony Martial; Swansea – Gylfi Sigurdsson
Shoot Says: Manchester United 1-0 Swansea