Club News

STAT PACK: First ten could be crucial

Facts and figures on Saturday's trip to South Wales (ko 3pm)

ALBION travel to the Liberty Stadium tomorrow (ko 3pm) for a huge clash and here football stats website preview the game.

There are only ten games left for the Baggies this season and although we are approaching the season's climax, nothing is decided in any of the crucial races in the Barclays Premier League. 

With just four points separating Swansea and their visitors this weekend, this game will have important ramifications for the finale of both teams' seasons.

Starting the match at a high tempo could cause irreparable damage for City. 

No team has conceded more goals in the opening ten minutes of Barclays Premier League matches this season than Swansea (six), and they have not won any of the matches in which they have conceded early on. 

The Swans also fell behind within the opening five minutes as they crashed out of the FA Cup in a 3-1 defeat at Everton last weekend.

On the other side, Albion have scored three of their 31 goals this season (9.7%) in the opening ten minutes of league games, a tally that only five English top-flight teams - the four highest scoring sides and Southampton - can better.

The Baggies can also draw on their experiences from almost exactly a year ago when they beat Swansea 2-1 in a clinical performance at The Hawthorns.

Against a side like Swansea, it is always going to be difficult to gain periods of possession. 

The South Wales outfit focus their game on retaining the ball and probing the opposition for an opening with plenty of players who are comfortable in possession. 

However, Albion have in their ranks midfielders who are effective in screening the defence, particularly in Youssouf Mulumbu – and he will be key.

The WhoScored match report from that win states Albion were 'effective at creating goalscoring opportunities from the flanks', and the wingers could thus be important once again. 

With Swansea's focus on keeping the ball on the floor, they have deficiencies in other departments, and thus 'aerial duels' is highlighted by WhoScored as a 'very weak' aspect of their game. 

Albion would do well to attack down the wings and try to take advantage of Swansea's shortcomings in the air when the sides do battle this weekend.

* 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 editor-in-chief @alitweedale on Twitter.

All-timeresults record (League, FA Cup and League Cup)







Interesting facts

Swansea have won just four of their last 19 Barclays Premier League fixtures at The Liberty Stadium – while the Baggies have not claimed a victory on the road in their last ten away games.

Albion have beaten the Swans only once in the Premier League (W1, L4).

Only one away team (West Ham) have kept a clean sheet at the Liberty Stadium this season.

The South Wales outfit have benefitted from seven own goals this season – already more than any side did last term.

Swansea players Jose Canas and Alejandro Pozuelo played under Pepe Mel during his time at Real Betis.

Last time out

HOME: Barclays Premier League, Saturday, September 1, 2013, Albion 0 Swansea 2 (Davies 22, Hernandez 83)
AWAY: Barclays Premier League, Wednesday, November 28, 2012, Swansea 3 (Michu 9, Routledge 11, 39) Albion 1 (Lukaku 45)

Form guide (last six league matches)

Last league match line-ups

ALBION (v Man Utd – home L 0-3): Foster; Reid (Sessegnon 60), McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Yacob (Morrison 40), Mulumbu; Amalfitano, Gera, Brunt © (Berahino 65); Anichebe. Subs not used: Myhill (gk), Thievy, Vydra, Dawson.

SWANSEA (v Crystal Palace - home D 0-0): Vorm, Chico, Williams Amat 70), Rangel, Davies, Britton, Hernandez (Canas 22), Dyer, Routledge, de Guzman, Bony (Lita 63). Subs not used: Tremmel (gk), Taylor, Vazquez, Emnes.

Swansea team news

Michu could be in contention for selection against Albion after returning to training this week following ten weeks on the sidelines due to an ankle injury. Midfielder Pablo Hernandez is also back in training after limping off against Crystal Palace with a tight hamstring, while Jonjo Shelvey is expected to return to full training on Friday following a hamstring problem. Chico Flores will serve a one-match ban for his red card against Palace.

Ref watch

Martin Atkinson will referee Saturday's game. The West Yorkshire official has not overseen the Baggies since their Barclays Premier League 2-1 home victory over Norwich in December 2012. He has dished out 84 yellow and three red cards in 29 games this term.


Selected odds from Sky Bet:

Albion to win: 14/5

Swansea to win: 19/20

Draw: 23/10

Victor Anichebe to score first: 9/1

Wilfried Bony to score first: 11/2

If you fancy a flutter with the club's official online betting partner, click here.


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