Swansea City vs West Ham United
25th August 2012
Swansea City host West Ham United this Saturday on the back of last weekend's magnificent 5-0 win at QPR.
The Swans will look to build on their biggest Premier League win as Michael Laudrup's debut as manager couldn't have gone any better.
You could say there will be a contrast of footballing styles on display in front of the Sky Sports cameras. The Swans enjoy it most when the ball is on the turf, while Allardyce's men will air it continuously in their long, direct attacking style.
Leon Britton insists they shouldn't get too carried away after the big 5-0 win, while Wayne Routledge says the boys are 'up for it' as they sound in confident mood.
The Liberty Stadium has always been a difficult place to go for opposition teams, and hopefully that will continue under Michael Laudrup.
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce hopes the Swans will suffer from over-confidence:
'I don't know (if they will suffer from over-confidence), I hope so because if there is we may be able to take advantage of that. But somehow I don't think there will be.
'Everybody found it a hugely difficult task to beat them at their ground. On the back of them trying to continue that, and their magnificent result against QPR, it will be a tough, tough match.'
Swansea City Team News:
Michael Laudrup has just one injury concern since last Saturday's 5-0 win at QPR.
Chico Flores will be assessed before the game after suffering a groin problem. New signing Kyle Bartley and Alan Tate are both on standby if he's not able to face the Hammers.
The Swans boss also insists he's willing to choose Scott Sinclair in his team despite there being interest in the player, after he rejected a new deal at the club. Wayne Routledge however, deserves to keep his place after an impressive performance at Loftus Road.
Player to watch: Michu
The £2m bargain buy impressed last weekend with two goals in a debut that he says 'went like a dream'. He was last season's top scoring midfielder in La Liga and he aims to continue that trend in the Premier League this year.
West Ham United Team News:
Courtesy of Vital West Ham:
This fixture has probably come too early for our new signing, Matt Jarvis, to make his debut, although we wouldn`t be too surprised t see our new £10.75 million investment sat on the bench.
Elsewhere, Big Sam will be hopeful that Jack Collison has shaken off the injury that kept him out of the opening day fixture, against Aston Villa, to be considered for selection.
Player to watch: Kevin Nolan
Courtesy of Vital West Ham:
Saturday will need somebody to step forward and show what they`re made of and who better than our captain.
Match Facts & Stats
West Ham have never visited the Liberty Stadium. The last time they faced the Swans was when they were in the bottom division, and they caused a big FA Cup upset, beating the Hammers 1-0 at the Vetch Field.
West Ham win the overall head-to-head battle, with 23 wins vs Swansea's 16, including 12 draws.
The Hammers started their Premier League season with a 1-0 home win against Aston Villa. They won promotion last season via the play-offs, beating Blackpool 2-1 in the Final.
Leon Britton faces his former club, having spent four years at Upton Park as a youth player before his Swansea City days began in 2002 as a loan player.
Sam Allardyce will probably set up his side to crowd the Swans when they enter their half of the pitch. They may sit back, look to frustrate the Swans and make it difficult for the hosts to break them down. The likes of Everton and Newcastle showed that the best way to get 3 points at the Liberty Stadium last season was to apply constant pressure, work hard as an organised unit and limit the amount of open spaces available to them - particularly on the flanks where Dyer in particular does a lot of damage.
The Hammers will be happy with a point I'm sure, and they could get it, as I'll honestly be surprised if they arrive with ambitious tactics and look to win the game. Therefore I'm predicting a 1-1 draw, with the Swans possibly frustrated to not get a winner despite dominating possession.
Saturday 1st September, 3pm
Sunderland at home