Competition: Premier League – Swansea City vs. West Ham United
Venue: Liberty Stadium – Sunday, December 20 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 EST)
Match Odds: Swansea City 11/10 – Draw 23/10 – West Ham United 13/5
With only one win in 13 in all competitions, the Swans are in dire need of points and will now need to pick up without Garry Monk, following his sacking a fortnight ago.
Monk’s departure has made December a lot tougher than it already was for the Welsh side as many big managerial names have ruled themselves out of the running, and their search for a successor could be difficult.
Their performance at Manchester City was better last week and they will feel the defeat was unjust in the end. They need to rally to try and pick up three points here to take pressure off the remaining games during the hectic Christmas period.
Swansea City’s record in the Premier League: P16 – W3 – D5 – L8
Things aren’t much better for the travelling side as West Ham haven’t won in the Premier League since October 24. Much of the reasoning is down to the loss of their star player Dimitri Payet. The playmaker has been sensational but is out for a while still with an ankle sprain.
West Ham are losing pace with the top four, despite a fantastic start, and are finding it hard without the creativity of Payet and more recently Manuel Lanzini.
The loss of form the Hammers suffered in the second half of last season was well documented and they need to avoid a repeat to ensure the club remain on an upward path ahead of their move to the Olympic Stadium next summer.
West Ham United’s record in the Premier League: P16 – W6 – D6 – L4Embed from Getty Images
This will be the seventh Premier League meeting between Swansea and West Ham. The Swans have only beaten their opponents once in their last six meetings, and haven’t won in any of the last five, so West Ham may hold the advantage as far as recent history goes.
Swansea City may be missing Jonjo Shelvey as he struggles with a calf strain, but he could feature. Andre Ayew may slot back into midfield as he played as a lone striker in the loss to Manchester City.
West Ham United are without Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Diafra Sakho, Victor Moses and Winston Reid through injury. Andy Carroll is a doubt but should play some part. Injuries are costing the Hammers at the worst time of the season and so Slaven Bilic will have some important decisions to make in balancing his side.
Swansea City’s last five: L/D/L/L/L
West Ham United’s last five: D/L/D/D/D
Key Stat: Swansea have lost five of their last six matches, scoring just three goals in that time.
Key Player: Andre Ayew – Swansea are desperate for points as they try and steer themselves clear of the relegation battle and Ayew is their greatest asset in attack. He will be key to their chances on Sunday.
Swansea City 1-1 West Ham United – Neither side seem to have the desire and quality to beat teams at the moment. With their star players not performing on a consistent basis and both without a win in five, a score draw seems inevitable.