Swansea City vs West Brom Preview: Relegation candidates to battle for vital three points

Previewing Swansea’s fixture with West Brom.

Swansea City vs West Brom Preview: Relegation candidates to battle for vital three points
Sam Clucas on the ball for Swansea. (Photo: Conor Molloy-Action Plus/Getty)

Swansea City host West Brom in an important clash at the bottom of the table.

The Welsh side sit bottom of the table and have only won a single point from their last seven league games and no side have scored fewer goals than Paul Clement’s men.

West Brom hover three points above the relegation zone under new manager Alan Pardew, and will be hoping that a win can further push the Baggies away from the bottom three.

Team news

Mike van der Hoorn is set to keep his place in the starting lineup, after Federico Fernandez returned to training after missing three games to return to Argentina following a family bereavement.

Fernandez played 62 minutes for the Swansea under-23 side that beat Colchester under-23s 5-1, while Kyle Bartley is set to return to training after undergoing knee surgery.

While West Brom will see the return of Matt Phillips and Chris Brunt from hamstring and thigh injuries, but Gareth Barry is set to miss out after picking up a muscle problem in last week’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace.

The game comes too soon for Craig Dawson, but the defender has returned to training following a knee injury. 

 

 

Quotes

Speaking ahead of the game, Clement said: “We have nine points at the moment and we are four games from halfway in the season.

“We know from last season that with 12 points at halfway, we can stay up.” The former Bayern Munich assistant said. “But we really need to be getting to a minimum of 12 points by halfway in the season, because any lower than that will mean it’s going to be tough.”

The 45-year-old manager admitted: “We have got four games to make that happen, and two of those are home games where we really have to be looking to get results.

When prompted to say whether this game was a six-pointer or not, Pardew said: “A six pointer is with two games to go to stay in the division, this is just three points.”

The newly appointed man claimed: “Swansea had a great run towards the end of the last year but this season they’ve struggled to get going.

“Paul Clement is being given time to turn things around and I think he’ll say he deserves that after what he did last season.” The 56-year-old said. “He’s worked under the best, he knows what it takes but like us his team just needs a win to raise their confidence.”

Past meetings

Last time out, Swansea came from a goal down to beat West Brom 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium on the last day of the season.

Jonny Evans put the Baggies ahead, but Jordan Ayew equalised with his first goal for the club before Fernando Llorente volleyed in the winning goal with five minutes remaining.

The earlier meeting in the season was much more pleasant for West Brom, as Salomon Rondon scored a hat-trick of headers in the 3-0 win over Swansea in December 2016.

 

 

Predicted XI

Swansea: Fabianski; Naughton, van der Hoorn, Mawson, Olsson; Ki, Mesa, Carroll; Ayew, Abraham, Bony.

West Brom: Foster; Nyom, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs; Livermore, Yacob, Field; Phillips, Rondon, Rodriguez.

The game kicks off at 15:00 on Saturday, December 9 at the Liberty Stadium.