Facts and figures ahead of Saturday's clash in South Wales (ko 3pm)
ALBION are three games into Alan Irvine's reign as head coach and the club remain unbeaten. This weekend the Baggies face a trip to another side yet to taste defeat this season in Swansea, and here football statistics website WhoScored.com have previewed the clash.
A last-gasp Oxford United goal in midweek was the first goal the Baggies had conceded in more than three hours of action, after a goalless draw at Southampton last weekend.
It was an assured defensive display from the visitors and the Saints multi-million pound attack rarely threatened to break through.
Jonas Olsson and Craig Dawson put in another set of good performances at centre-back, but it was in the positions in front of them the team was most impressive.
Craig Gardner followed up a great debut with a WhoScored rating of 6.98, but it was central midfield partner and man-of-the-match Youssouf Mulumbu who was the star of the show.
The DR Congo international screened the defence effectively, breaking up play consistently throughout before distributing the ball forwards for his attacking team-mates to counter.
Mulumbu scored 8.14 in WhoScored's statistically-based rating system in that game and also made it into their Barclays Premier League team of the week in a midfield alongside Erik Lamela, Cheikhou Kouyaté and Eden Hazard.
Mulumbu is now one of the best-performing central midfielders in England’s top-flight so far this season and the importance of his input should certainly not be underestimated. He ranks among the best players in the league for tackles and interceptions per game.
With statistically calculated strengths on WhoScored.com of ball interception, concentration and dribbling, it is clear just what Mulumbu's role is. He reads the game fantastically well, and looks to break things up before bringing play out to make a quick transition from defence to attack. He is strong, athletic and agile, and many opposing players find him a difficult player to beat, or halt, as a result.
His heat map from the season so far shows just how much distance the midfielder covers, with his touches coming all over the pitch. His all-action approach is one that has been vital to Albion for over half a decade now and that looks set to continue under new boss Alan Irvine.
This weekend, up against a Swans side that have also started the season well, Mulumbu will be vital once again. He scored the winner in this fixture last season, as the Baggies came from behind to record a highly impressive 2-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium back in March. If Albion are to extend their unbeaten record further, he will need to keep up what has been a fantastic start to the campaign on a personal level.
*WhoScored.com is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScored and their editorial assistant @AliTweedale on Twitter.
All-time results record (League, FA Cup and League Cup)
Albion triumphed 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium in March last season, only their third away victory against the Swans in South Wales.
Jonas Olsson and Youssouf Mulumbu have played in each of the last eight meetings between the two sides stretching back to 2009.
Following last weekend's goalless draw at Southampton, the Baggies are looking to keep back-to-back clean sheets in the league for the first time since April 2012.
Having won their opening two Barclays Premier League matches of the new season, Swansea have equalled the impressive start they made in 2012/13. That season they drew their third match 2-2 at home to Sunderland.
The Swans last won three successive top-flight fixtures in March 2012.
Last time out
HOME: Barclays Premier League, Sunday, September 1, 2013, Albion 0 Swansea 2
AWAY: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, March 15, 2014, Swansea 1 Albion 2 (Sessegnon 52, Mulumbu 85)
Form guide (last six league matches)
Last league match line-ups
ALBION (v Southampton – away D 0-0): Foster, Wisdom, Olsson, Pocognoli (Davidson 60'), Dawson, Brunt, Dorrans, Gardner, Mulumbu, Berahino (Sessegnon 89'), Anichebe (Ideye 52'). Subs not used: Myhill (gk), Baird, McAuley, Yacob.
SWANSEA (v Burnley – home W 1-0): Fabianski, Amat, Taylor, Williams, Rangel, Ki, Shelvey, Dyer (Montero 66'), Routledge (Tiendalli 89'), Sigurdsson, Bony (Gomis 64'). Subs not used: Tremmel (gk), Bartley, Richards, Sheehan.
Swansea team news
New £8m defender Federico Fernandez could be handed his Premier League debut. But the Swans are still without knee injury victims Marvin Emnes and Leon Britton.
Paul Tierney will referee Saturday's game. The Lancashire official oversees his first-ever Premier League fixture.
Selected odds from Sky Bet:
Albion to win: 16/5
Swansea to win: 5/6
Brown Ideye to score first: 7/1
Gylfi Sigurdsson to score first: 13/2
If you fancy a flutter with the club's official online betting partner, click here.
Reduced-priced tickets for the clash will remain on general sale until 2pm on Friday. However, no seats will be on sale to Baggies fans at the Liberty Stadium on the day of the game. For more information, click here
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