West Ham will be keen to halt an alarming slump in form as they prepare to take on Michael Laudrup’s fluid Swansea outfit at Upton Park. Having been in an around the top six in early December, Sam Allardyce’s Hammers have only taken one win from their last nine games to leave them 13th and now just seven points off the relegation zone.
Indeed, Wednesday night’s poor 3-1 defeat to a struggling Fulham side will not have escaped the notice of Allardyce, who will now be surely targeting three points at home to the Swans to just ease the pressure on his players slightly.
Despite an encouraging return as a substitute at Craven Cottage, Andy Carroll looks set to start on the bench once more with either Carlton Cole or Marouane Chamakh leading the line for the Hammers. However, defenders James Collins (hamstring), Daniel Potts (concussion) and George McCartney (knee) remain out.
Capital One Cup finalists Swansea are still searching for their first Premier League away win and indeed their first Premier League goal on the road in 2013 as Michael Laudrup looks to leapfrog Liverpool into seventh place.
They will have to do so without goalkeeper Michel Vorm however, who is still sidelined with a knee injury and so Gerhard Tremmel will be in-between the sticks once more for the Welsh outfit. The Swans also failed to purchase a replacement for Danny Graham in time after the striker was allowed to leave for Sunderland and so even more pressure is now heaped on Michu to continue his free-scoring form from the first half of the season.