Swansea City-West Ham United Preview
LONDON (SE) - West Ham United will be looking to halt a poor run of results as they welcome Swansea City to Upton Park on Saturday afternoon.
Sam Allardyce's West Ham (7-6-11) have won just one of their last nine league games, but will be targeting home points to pull clear of the relegation scrap after a 3-1 defeat at Fulham in midweek.
"Our home form has been very good and we'll try to play on the front foot and create chances," said assistant manager Neil McDonald. "We'll certainly be doing that against Swansea on Saturday.
"We have to try to take advantage of everything we possibly can and we need to win our home games if we want to go up the league and put ourselves in a better position than we are at the moment. All newly-promoted teams go through these little patches. We were encouraged by the performance even if we were hugely disappointed with the result, because we played on the front foot and created chances. If we can keep that going for the rest of the season, we'll be fine."
Visitors Swansea (8-12-6) have been in excellent recent form, picking up points in all of their last seven league games to move into the top eight of the Premier League. Despite being disappointed to miss out on a win against Sunderland in midweek, manager Michael Laudrup is pleased with his team's progress.
"We maybe should have won the game, but the reaction of my players was great," said Laudrup. "We played away, against a good side, and it is a pleasure to see at the moment and we defended well. Of course I'd have liked the three points, but our reaction was most important. This team is a very mature one, and that is something we can take forward into the future."
"Until we have 40 points, I don't want to talk about targets. It's important for us to get there and then look at the next target. We will have games where we are more lucky with our chances, but our performance tonight was what I expect and I'm very pleased."
West Ham have doubts over Daniel Potts (concussion), Jack Collins (hamstring) and George McCartney (knee), while Swansea have concerns over goalkeeper Michel Vorm (knee). Kemy Agustien and Neil Taylor remain out for the Swans with ankle injuries, and Laudrup must find a way to fill the void left by striker Danny Graham's departure to Sunderland on transfer deadline day.
Swansea have conceded just nine goals in 12 games away from home this season - the lowest in the league. However, they have also managed to score just 12 goals on the road - the least in the top half.
Swansea beat West Ham 3-0 in August when the teams met at the Liberty Stadium, with Michu, Graham and Angel Rangel scoring the goals. That was the first meeting between the clubs in over a decade.