After conceding an astounding 17 goals in five games, Sam Allardyce ‘out-tacticed’ Jose Mourinho on Wednesday night by securing a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge; only their second clean sheet in 11 matches. The Hammers will look to build on that much-needed defensive platform when they welcome Swansea to Upton Park on Saturday.
Despite the point gained against Chelsea, West Ham still sit in the relegation zone. They do now, however, have Andy Carroll to call upon again. Carroll made his first league start of the season against Chelsea, and Allardyce will look to goals from his striker to steer West Ham to safety.
Swansea too have a stalwart returning from injury; Nathan Dyer. Swansea’s loss of form coincided with Dyer’s ankle injury, and the winger’s introduction halfway through the second half against Fulham was the catalyst for victory. Within minutes, Dyer made the assist for Jonjo Shelvey’s opener.
The Swans travel to East London in search of their first back-to-back wins of the season, and in hope of confirmation that they have indeed turned a corner; the Swans’ midweek win against Fulham was their first in nine Premier League games.
Kick off: Saturday, 12.45pm.
Swansea 0 West Ham 0, Premier League, 27 October 2013.
West Ham 1 (Carroll) Swansea 0, Premier League, 2 February 2013.
Swansea 3 (Rangel, Michu, Graham) West Ham 0, Premier League, 25 August 2012.
Only Joe Cole (4) and Kevin Nolan (2) have scored more than one goal at Upton Park for West Ham this season.
Wilfried Bony is yet to score away from home in the Premier League for Swansea.
Swansea currently have the highest average possession (59.6 per cent) in the division. By contrast, West Ham have the third lowest (43.8 per cent).
West Ham have picked up four red cards in the Premier League this season; only Sunderland have more.
Kevin Nolan has the worst disciplinary record in the league (four yellow cards, two reds).
West Ham have kept nine clean sheets this season; only Arsenal have more (10).
West Ham to win: 2.9
Swansea to win: 2.375
TV: Match of the Day, BBC One. 10.30 PM.