West Bromwich Albion welcome Swansea to the Hawthorns this weekend for an early season Premier League clash. Both teams have had average starts to the Premier League season, and will be looking to register their first wins. Swansea currently sit bottom of the league after losing 4-1 at home to Manchester United and 1-0 away to Tottenham Hotspur. With Swansea being in the Europa League this season, getting points early on in is key as dealing with the strain of European football can be difficult for the best of sides. West Brom will be looking to replicate the good form they showed in the early part of last season as they currently reside in 17th. This makes it a must win game for both sides as they look to move away from the relegation zone early on.
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West Brom have a few injury concerns for the game. Matej Vydra is a doubt after coming off in the League Cup tie against Newport with a tight hamstring. Ben Foster is a long term absentee after sustaining a foot injury in the game against Everton. Steven Reid will also be missing, with Nicolas Anelka 50-50 after returning to training after compassionate leave. New signing Scott Sinclair should make his debut for the Baggies. Swansea fullback Neil Taylor will be out for six weeks with a thigh injury. Swansea will be hoping that Ashley Williams, Jonjo Shelvey and Wilfried Bony will all be able to return from injury in time for the game after missing the trip to Petrolul Ploiesti. Dwight Tiendalli has signed a permanent move after being on loan last season, and could be in the squad.
When the two sides have met in the Premier League, it is Swansea who have come out the better. The Swans have won three of their last four meetings, with West Brom snatching victory in their meeting at home last season. Romelu Lukaku was on the score sheet for the Baggies that day as well as when they lost 3-1 away, but with his loan spell finished, West Brom will need firepower from someone else to try and ensure victory. Swansea have scored nine goals in their four games against West Brom, and will be hoping that they can add to Wilfried Bony’s solitary goal for them this season. West Brom also go into the game hoping they can score their first goal of the season.
Undoubtedly both sides will be looking for their forwards to perform in order to secure the three points. West Brom will be looking for Shane Long to get on the score sheet for the first time this season. The Irishman has been a good signing for the Baggies since signing in Summer 2011, and with Matej Vydra a doubt and Nicolas Anelka’s future uncertain, Long will have to shoulder the goal scoring responsibility. The forward has scored eight Premier League goals in consecutive seasons during his time at West Brom, and will be looking to better that this season.
Swansea will be looking for Wilfried Bony to continue the goal scoring form he showed for Vitesse in the Dutch Eredivisie last season. The striker netted thirty-one times and his arrival was something of a coup for the Swans, becoming their record signing in the progress. He showed on his Premier League debut against Manchester United the finishing prowess he possesses with a neat finish, and Laudrup will be hoping for more of the same. Bony’s arrival has meant Michu can move back into an attacking midfield role, looking to score and supply. Bony will be looking to form an understanding with Michu and try and fire Swansea to their first win of the season.
Pinnacle Sports Odds
In terms of odds there is not much between the sides. Pinnacle Sports make West Brom the slight favourites at 2.69, with Swansea at 2.81. These odds show that there’s not much to choose between the two sides as neither are in great form after their poor starts. The draw is at 3.420, showing that bookies feel that both sides will be going for it in attempt to claim their first wins. West Brom’s home advantage could be a key factor, so a West Brom victory could be on the cards after a good display at Everton last weekend.
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