Swansea City vs West Bromwich Albion preview: Promotion hopefuls face off at the Liberty Stadium
 (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Swansea City host Sky Bet Championship table toppers West Bromwich Albion at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides are very much in the promotion race, with the visitors hoping to earn automatic promotion to the Premier League, whilst the Swans will be looking to close the gap on the top six.

The hosts have picked up just seven points out of a possible 24  in their last eight league fixtures, drawing last time out against Blackburn Rovers, where they conceded a stoppage time goal from Bradley Johnson.

As for West Brom, Slaven Bilic's men were on an unbeaten run of six games , of which they won five, before losing 1-0 last weekend at home to relegation threatened Wigan Athletic.

Both sides will be desperate to get back to winning ways to get their respective promotion pushes back on track.

Steve Cooper will be determined for his side to get a result out of this game after the reverse fixture ended 5-1 to the Baggies back in December.

Team News

Swansea:

Wayne Routledge (knee), Mike van der Hoorn (knee) and George Byers (foot) are all still unavailable for the home side.

Top scorer Andre Ayew is a doubt for the game on the weekend, with Cooper suggesting he will get as much time as possible to be ready in time:

Embed from Getty Images

“We have not completely ruled him out yet, because you give those players every chance you can to be ready for the game.

“But we are going to have to plan for being with or without him."

Bersant Celina has a pelvis problem and is also a doubt, he missed the two previous games at Fulham and Blackburn with an illness.

West Brom:

The visitors will be without Ahmed Hegazi because of a hamstring injury which may keep him out of action for a couple of weeks.

On-loan winger Grady Diangana is still unavailable with a hamstring injury.

Romaine Sawyers has returned from suspension and will be available for selection.

Predicted line-ups

Swansea:


Woodman, Naughton, Cabango, Rodon, Bidwell, Fulton, Grimes, Garrick, Gallagher, Dhanda, Brewster.

West Brom:

Johnstone, O'Shea, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend, Harper, Livermore, Krovinovic, Pereira, Rosbon-Kanu, Robinson.

Key clash: Brewster vs Bartley

Since signing on loan from Liverpool in January to aid the Swans' promotion push, Rhian Brewster has made 10 appearances, scoring four goals, with the most recent coming against Blackburn in his last game.

He will be looking to continue his form and get a goal against the league leaders, which he may need to do to get his team a result against the leagues top scorers.

He will most likely be coming up against Kyle Bartley at the heart of the Baggies defence, the 28-year-old has made 32 appearances in the league this season, after joining West Brom in 2018 from Swasnea. He will be looking to get another win over his old club.

With Bartley being a big physical presence, will he be too much for Brewster along with his probable partner Semi Ajayi, or will the Liverpool youngster be able to use his pace and agility to his advantage?

Embed from Getty Images

Pre-match comments

Swansea:

The Swansea boss has insisted that spirits are high heading into this game despite a difficult week of results, he told the official club website:

“We had a tough week, there is no hiding away from that,” he said.

“We felt hard done by after the Fulham game, rightly so, and the Blackburn game was a tough one.

“We have to be optimistic, why shouldn’t we be? There are still 30 points to play for, we are in the mix."

Embed from Getty Images

Ayew will be hoping to be fit enough to play a part in the game on Saturday, and he is looking forward to the Championship run in, he said:

“We’re into the last 10 games. Now is the time to make things happen. It’s important that we finish games with points in the bag.

“We need a positive result against West Brom. We really need the fans because it will be a hard game for everyone.

“We have the quality and players to deliver and make people happy.”

West Brom:

Bilic believes his players should be confident going into this clash, although he has insisted that his players must stay focused for each of the remaining games.

“We are in a position to be confident but at the same time to be on our toes. There is absolutely no room for mistakes and we are approaching that in a very positive way", he said.

“Of course, we don’t think about it as 10 games, we think only about the game tomorrow. It’s a massive one and we are playing against a team who has very good players, that likes to play football, and as I said, we will have to again be on top of our game."

Reflecting the thoughts of his boss, former Rotherham United defender Ajayi is determined to stay focused during the run in and take it game by game, he said:

“The focus now is on Swansea and Swansea alone.

“We will be doing all we can to get maximum points against them and then the focus will switch to the next game, as it should do.

“We know it’ll be a tough game but we’ve got to try and do everything we can to get three points on Saturday."

The game will kick-off at 15:00 on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium, with the hosts releasing a statement about coronavirus in aid to help the safety of the fans, staff and players.

VAVEL Logo