Swansea City will be hoping to deliver a knockout blow to West Brom on Boxing Day to give their set of supporters some festive cheer by crawling out of the Premier League’s bottom three on Saturday (15:00).
The Welsh outfit, whose goalless draw against West Ham United last weekend halted a run of three consecutive league defeats, remain two points adrift of safety in 18th place over the Christmas period.
Meanwhile the Baggies, who succumbed to their first league loss since early-November last Saturday against AFC Bournemouth (1-2), are without a win in their last four outings, seeing Tony Pulis’ side slip down the table and now only five points above the relegation zone.
The last time these two sides went head-to-head was back in February, when today’s visitors eased to a comfortable 2-0 home victory thanks to goals from strike partners Ideye Brown and Saido Berahino.
However West Brom have won only one of their nine Premier League Boxing Day matches (W1 D2 L6). Although forward Rickie Lambert could be on hand to improve that statistic for the away side as the former England international has scored in two of his three top-flight appearances on the day after Christmas (2012 vs Fulham and 2013 vs Cardiff City).
Meanwhile the hosts Wayne Routledge will fancy his chances of finding the back of the net this afternoon having scored three three goals in the last three league matches between these two clubs at the Liberty Stadium; all of which came in the first-half.
Nevertheless; under caretaker manager Alan Curtis, the Swans are now winless in seven successive Premier League games, their worst run in the competition since an eight-match winless streak between December 2013 and January 2014.
Swansea forward Eder is not expected to return until next year (Ankle injury), whilst French midfielder Franck Tabanou is also ruled out with a thigh problem which he suffered at the start of December.
However caretaker boss Curtis is likely to select Angel Rangel once again ahead of Kyle Naughton at right-back after the Spanish full-back has seemingly recovered from a slight foot problem sustained during the 0-0 encounter against West Ham at the Liberty Stadium last weekend.
West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster (cruciate knee ligament injury) remains sidelined until after the New Year, while both striker Salomon Rondon and winger James McClean miss the trip to Wales through suspension following their dismissals against Bournemouth at The Hawthorns last Saturday.
Otherwise manager Pulis has no other selection worries ahead of this Boxing Day clash.
League Position: Swansea – 18th (15 pts); West Brom – 13th (20 pts)
Last Meeting: West Brom 2-0 Swansea – Feb 11, 2015
Key Players: Swansea – Andre Ayew; West Brom – Craig Dawson
Premier League Form: Swansea – LDLLLD; West Brom – LWDDDL
Shoot Says: Swansea 1-0 West Brom