Two of the worst form teams in the Premier League meet on Saturday as Albion face the bottom-of-the-table side for the second match in succession.
The point that Crystal Palace gained at the Hawthorns last Saturday means that Swansea City now occupy the bottom spot with just nine points from fifteen games. They sit joint bottom of the six-game form table with Newcastle with both clubs having picked up just one point in the last six (Newcastle’s point was, of course, earned at the Hawthorns), and all on their own at the bottom of the ten-game form table with four points from the last thirty. The Baggies sit second bottom with five points.
While the form stats put the two teams on a par, Albion have the recent boost of a new head coach while Paul Clement seems to be completely at a loss as to how to arrest the slide at the Liberty. Clement, brother of the former Baggies full back Neil, managed to keep the Swans in the Premier League last season but this term has not started well for the Welsh club. Scoring goals has been a particular problem with Bony’s goal at Stoke last weekend, his first since returning to the club in the summer, was just their eighth in the Premier League this season.
Albion, meanwhile, may not have scored against Palace but most fans will have appreciated the attacking intent that was evident, albeit ultimately unsuccessful. Those that travel to the Liberty Stadium will do so with renewed optimism that they will witness a Baggies team try to win a game away from home for the first time in almost three years. They will also be buoyed by the news that both Matt Phillips and Chris Brunt are fit, although Gareth Barry will miss out having picked up a thigh injury last time out.
Alan Pardew has had a full week to work with the squad and this weekend will be a greater indication of how he wants the team to play. Despite the optimism, Albion remain without a win since August and this match represents the best opportunity of changing that before Christmas with a trip to Liverpool and a home match with Manchester United to come next.
Albion have not had a great time in Swansea over the years, with their only Premier League win at the Liberty coming three-and-a-half years ago. That proved to be a massive win for the Baggies who were in a battle to avoid the drop under Pepe Mel and ended a run of nine games without a win. The home side took the lead early on through Roland Lamah, but Albion equalised just after half time through Sessègnon and grabbed a late winner thanks to Youssouf Mulumbu. The Baggies only other win at Swansea’s new stadium came on their first ever visit in the Championship in 2010 when a Graham Dorrans penalty and a goal from Ishmael Miller gave them a 2-0 win.
The optimism is still there for me and I think Albion will sneak a win. Cue Tony Pulis to take over from Paul Clement before the end of the year….
All competitions; most recent game on the right
21 May 2017 – Premier League
Swansea City 2 (Ayew, Llorente)
West Brom 1 (Evans)
14 Dec 2016 – Premier League
West Brom 3 (Rondón (3))
Swansea City 1 (Routledge)
Last win at Swansea City
15 Mar 2014 – Premier League
Swansea City 1
West Brom 2 (Sessègnon, Mulumbu)
Albion’s Record against Swansea City
|Premier League Record|