West Bromwich Albion visit Swansea City in the Championship tonight seeking to put further daylight between themselves and their automatic promotion rivals. After a 3-1 defeat at Queen's Park Rangers, Albion bounced back to beat Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool last week. But fourth-placed Swansea, who left The Hawthorns with three points in October, are a different proposition.
Robert Koren has called on Albion to focus on themselves as they look to return to the Premier League at the first attempt. "We've got a really good week behind us and winning the two games was really important for our confidence after we lost at QPR," he said. "There are still 10 games until the end of the season and we need to focus on ourselves. We have everything in our hands and we cannot look too much at what Nottingham Forest or anyone else are doing."
Albion hold a five-point advantage over third-placed Forest and there is a nine-point gap between them and Swansea. But Koren anticipates a difficult game at the Liberty Stadium. The Slovakia captain added: "They like to play football and they pass the ball around so we are expecting a really hard game. But we have enough quality to get points there."
The Swansea manager Paulo Sousa will be hoping his side, who appeared lethargic in last Saturday's 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, can recover to record a double over the Baggies. Their captain, Garry Monk, has recovered from a calf injury and Nathan Dyer and Shefki Kuqi are in contention, while Gorka Pintado is available after serving a four-game ban.
Forest will attempt to capitalise on any Albion misfortune in south Wales when they travel to Barnsley, and will hope to make amends for their dire first-half display at manager Billy Davies's former club Preston last Saturday – they lost 3-2 – and end their five-game losing run away from home.
The Tykes, meanwhile, are six points off a play-off place. Their manager, Mark Robins, said: "Forest are a good side and they are challenging for the top two at the moment. They have had a little slip-up away from home of late and hopefully that will continue on Tuesday."
Two teams also currently in the play-off places, Leicester City and Cardiff City, will look to consolidate their positions at Crystal Palace and Coventry City respectively. The Bluebirds have won one and lost four of their last six, with off-field financial troubles proving a distraction ahead of the match at the Ricoh Arena, where eighth-placed Coventry will look to extend a run that has seen them lose once in 10 matches.Reuse content