Sunday 25 December 2016

Swansea v West Ham Preview

This was supposed to be a turning point for the Swans. Games against teams in and around the lower end of the table have so far resulted in back to back away defeats and a dire 19th place thanks only to superior goal difference over Hull City – COME ON! What’s going so wrong?

West Ham haven’t come to Swansea and won since 1983 – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t even born the last time West Ham took us down in our back yard – but they are looking for a third successive Premier League win as they make the trip on Boxing Day.

This isn’t great news overall as we’re on a run of consecutive losses and they’re on a run of consecutive wins – the form guide clearly suggests we’re up against it here no matter how history paints the fixture out to be.

We have won our last two Boxing Day games against Villa in 2014 and West Brom 2015 but they were both narrow 1-0 wins. A repeat performance would be good but it would be nice to see a bit more than a single goal – it’s meant to be the season of goodwill not crap shooting.

Good news! Fernandez and Ki are both back having recovered from broken toes – how they both managed to suffer the same fate is beyond me but never mind. Naughton and Cork are probably going to get the nod to start as Bradders finally admitted that change was needed if we’re to develop any semblance of form over the winter period.

There’s a fair few West Ham players set to miss out including Zaza, Sakho, Tore, Obiang and Oxford all out of the running for a spot in the squad. Sadly, Payet remains available and in form so it’ll probably be up to Fernandez to keep him under wraps – he’s going to need to work hard!

The last time we faced West Ham we thumped them 4-1 in one of our most confident performances of the previous campaign but we’ve only won that one game in the last seven against the Hammers. Three draws and three losses make up the rest of the numbers – not good.

January needs to bring three things to Swansea. Confidence, Victories and signings – I’m not sure Bradders is the man to entrust with a transfer budget but it’s better than nothing. Fingers crossed we focus on defence and pace – you can’t buy confidence but a faster, more solid side will go a long way to developing belief!

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