Two of the Premier League’s more upwardly mobile outfits do battle at the Bolyen Ground on Sunday lunchtime as West Ham host Swansea but, while a close clash may be anticipated by many, there’s only one winner in this one.
The eastenders are rightfully 7/5 favourites to down their 2/1 visitors with the draw 12/5.
Read on for the evidence…
Swansea have failed to score in their last three meetings with West Ham.
It seems like it didn’t take Sam Allardyce that long to work the welshmen out after the Irons’ return to the top flight two seasons ago.
Since losing 3-0 to the Swans in the sides’ first 2012/13 encounter he has guided his men to a trio of clean sheets in their subsequent meetings, winning both encounters at the Boleyn Ground.
The Irons have lost just once in eight Premier League games.
While Allardyce’s side no longer seem to put not losing above all else they have been steadfastly continuing to do so.
That this has been achieved despite them losing many of the key ingredients of their exciting new modus operandi to injury at various points in the last few weeks is a feather in their cap.
Meanwhile five wins in that sequence, including successes over Manchester City and in-form Newcastle on home turf vouch for the fact draws haven’t been their only for of sustenance.
Garry Monk’s men haven’t won away from home in their last six attempts.
The Swans’ lofty standing in the current divisional shake up owes little to away returns and they arrive to face West Ham seeking to avoid their fourth defeat in five on the road.
In mitigation they’ve been to Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and Everton since the start of the campaign, but they’ve also been shut out in Sunderland and turned over at Stoke, whose own home strength is not what it was.
Alex Song and Diafra Sahko are expected to return from injury for the hosts.
Two of the summer transfer window’s shrewdest signings are likely to return to the fray against Swansea and both offer the hosts a huge boost.
Sakho, with his goals needs little explanation, but Song, so monumental in victory over the 2013/14 champions, will be just as important.
His combination with Cheickhou Kouyate can see the irons dominate Monk’s midfield and silence key creator Gylfi Sigurdsson.