As they continue their search for a new manager, Swansea City will hoping to pick up only their second win since August as they take on a West Ham United who themselves have struggled for positive results of late.
Chairman Huw Jenkins clearly did not have anybody lined up to take charge of Swansea when he dispensed of the services of Garry Monk, as he has spent most of the last week in South America approaching current front-runner Walter Bielsa, so time will tell if he made the right decision. The club needs results quickly, as now only goal difference separates them from the drop zone despite the obvious quality that exists within the squad.
That quality was in evidence last weekend at title hopefuls Manchester City, a game which they were desperately unlucky to lose after bossing much of the second half and having seemingly grabbed what would have been an excellent point. Caretaker-boss Alan Curtis made subtle changes to the side and they did seem to pay off, with striker Bafetimbi Gomis looking like the player who was in fine goalscoring form earlier in the year. For all of their pretty football, this one is all about getting the win they so badly need.
It was a game not lacking its fair share of chances at either end, but West Ham’s last outing at home finished goalless, thereby extending their run without a a victory to six matches, stretching back to when they overcame rivals Chelsea on October 24. Injuries sustained over recent weeks have not helped their cause, but for all of that it must not be forgotten that they went into the weekend just five points off fourth place, and they have every reason to be confident coming into this one.
The Swans defence has not appeared as tight as normal during their slump, with Ashley Williams suffering something of a loss of form ahead of his duel with Andy Carroll, who has got the better of Wales international before. The return of Enner Valencia has also come as a major boost for the Londoners, as he provides an extra option for boss Slaven Bilic as well as a little unpredictability, so in spite of the form of both sides, they certainly have plenty of good attacking options available.
Jonjo Shelvey may return for Swansea following a calf injury, but they are still without striker Eder and defender Franck Tabanou.
West Ham are still without Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini and Diafra Sakho, but have no new injury concerns.
Last Meeting: Andy Carroll missed a lot of last season through injury, but he did produce a moment of magic when West Ham visited Swansea in January as he showed great feet in the penalty area before striking a terrific effort into the top corner to put his team ahead. But it was not enough to claim all three points, as Mark Noble deflected a Bafetimbi Gomis header into his own net.