West Brom travel to Wales this weekend to face one of the few teams left in the league with a 100% record in Swansea City.
The Welsh club have enjoyed a good start to life under the permanent stewardship of Gary Monk with 3 wins in their 3 competitive matches – against Manchester United and Burnley in the league, and Rotherham in the League Cup. Everyone associated with Swansea will be encouraged by the start by Garry Monk after the rebuilding of the squad over the summer to rid the club of the problems that plagued the final stages of Michael Laudrup’s tenure.
West Brom surprised many with the appointment of Alan Irvine in the summer and the Baggies have started satisfactorily without setting the world alight. A problem to fans will be the fact they have drawn every match so far this season and last season’s inability to turn draws into wins – an incredible 15 in total – was a major reason why West Brom struggled. With upcoming matches against Everton, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United though a win this weekend can set an more optimistic tone for the following month.
Returning to Swansea after he spent a successful loan spell there a few years ago, Sigurdsson has enjoyed a good start to the season.
Operating in the number 10 role rather than out wide like he did at Spurs due to fierce competition, Sigurdsson has been involved in every goal scored by the Swans so far – assisting 2 and scoring one himself. Creating 4 chances in the opening 2 matches, Sigurdsson will need to be at his creative best against a West Brom defence that looked defensively solid at Southampton last week.
The West Brom midfielder has been a success ever since he moved to the Midlands a few seasons ago, that looks set to continue this campaign. West Brom’s stalemate away to Southampton was an encouraging defensive performance for the Baggies after their weaknesses on the road last season, and Mulumbu played a big part in that.
Over the 2 matches this season, the Congo international has made 12 tackles and 10 interceptions already – the latter will be important against Swansea to prevent the slick passing style of the Welsh club penetrating West Brom’s backline down the centre.
- Swansea have won 5 out of the last 8 meetings between the two clubs and scored the opening goal on 6 occassions.
- Wilfred Bony has scored 10 goals in the last 20 league matches – 7 more than any other player (Nathan Dyer with 3) for either club.
- West Brom haven’t won a match in the Premier League since 26th April – a run of 5 matches without a win.
Swansea have no new injury concerns, but Leon Britton and Marvin Emnes are still long term absentees.
Sebastien Pocognoli is a doubt for West Brom after failing to train on Thursday, but Alan Irvine can hand debuts to new signings Silvestre Varela and and Georgios Samaras.
Despite being unbeaten so far West Brom are yet to win a match and this looks set to continue against a Swansea side that are getting better and better with each match.