West Brom-Swansea City Preview
West Bromwich Albion will be on the hunt for their first win in nine attempts when they travel to Wales to play Swansea City on Saturday.
Pepe Mel's West Brom (4-3-11) have continued to struggle to search out wins since Mel took over from Steve Clarke in December, although draws with Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton have hinted at the potential for improvement if the new manager is given time. Goal difference is the only thing keeping the Baggies out of the bottom three with 10 games remaining, but midfielder Youssuf Mulumbu is confident the squad have enough to secure their Premier League status for another season.
"We didn't really expect this situation when we started this season," said Mulumbu. "We need to adapt. We know how hard it is to stay in the Premier League and we'll keep working together as a team. We've got some good players, good lads and I'm really confident in my team that we can stay up.
"At the moment there is a lack of confidence and the best thing is to encourage. We won't give up because that would be unfair to all the people at West Brom and the fans. We're going to fight to stay in the Premier League."
Swansea City (7-8-13) have enjoyed plenty of success since their promotion to the Premier League, but have struggled this season to cope with the dual pressures of domestic and European campaigns. With 10 matches left, the Swans are just four points clear of the relegation zone, and 1-1 draws with Stoke City and Crystal Palace around a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool in their last three matches have left Garry Monk's side in real threat of returning to the Championship.
"You get defining games throughout the season, and this is definitely one of them," said the Swans' interim manager. "We want the three points and so do West Brom. It's a good game, a big game, but we're in front of our home fans and it is important that we put on a performance to get the win.
"They (West Brom) are under pressure and at the wrong end of the table, while in recent years they have been at the other end. They have got a new manager and I've looked at their recent games and we'll tailor our good plan around that.
Swansea have injury doubts over Nathan Dyer (ankle), Pablo Hernandez (hamstring), Jonjo Shelvey (hamstring), Kyle Bartley (hamstring) and Michu (ankle). West Brom are missing Chris Brunt (knee), Billy Jones (hamstring) and Diego Lugano (knee), while Claudio Yacob (hamstring) and Steven Reid (knee) are doubts.
The Swans ran out 2-0 winners when these teams met at the Hawthorns back in September. Ben Davies opened the scoring and Pablo Hernandez secured the win with seven minutes remaining. The Baggies, who have been outscored 11-4 in losing four of five top-flight matches to the Swans, managed just one attempt on target in that match.