Swansea City will be looking to get back to winning ways when they face West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday. The Championship’s meanest defence faces the division’s strongest attack in a crucial encounter at the Liberty Stadium.
West Brom occupy second place and have accumulated sixty-nine points from their thirty-six games, two places and nine points above the Swans.
Craig Beattie believes second place is well within our grasp. He told the official site: ‘It’s a massive game for us, we want to win and put them under a bit of pressure for that second place. There are still a lot of points to play for and second place is a target we’ve got to aim for.’
‘We’re trying to cement a play-off place at the minute because we know how difficult the league is. But if we win on Tuesday night it’ll set tongues wagging about reaching second place.’
Graham Dorrans, my away player to watch, has been speaking to West Brom’s official site. He said: ‘We’ll rest up and prepare well for tomorrow. It’s a tough place to go but hopefully we can go there and get a good result. A lot of teams have gone there and lost or dropped points so if we can go there and win the game it would be a great statement.
‘Hopefully, we can do that – and we’ve certainly got the players to do it. We know it’ll be a tough game but I’m sure we’ll match them.’
Swansea City Team News:
Gorka Pintado is back in contention after a four-game ban. Garry Monk and Nathan Dyer will return to the squad after recent injuries but Ferrie Bodde (knee), Andrea Orlandi (hamstring), Joe Allen (knee), Jordi Lopez (ankle), Fede Bessone (calf) and Albert Serran (hamstring) are still out.
Player to watch: Darren Pratley
The tireless midfielder has had a fantastic season under Paulo Sousa and is expected to make his 150th appearance for the club. Pratley is Swansea’s top goalscorer this season with six goals. The 25-year-old enjoys the big occasion and I would not be surprised if he got on the scoresheet.
West Bromwich Albion Team News:
Roman Bednar (thigh), Steven Reid (groin) and Jerome Thomas (hamstring) are sidelined but there is some good news for Roberto Di Matteo. Ishmael Miller should play some part after receiving treatment on his hamstring and Luke Moore is recovering from illness.
Player to watch: Graham Dorrans
The Scotland international is regarded as one of the best players outside the Premier League. The midfielder has started thirty-nine times this season and scored fourteen goals. Dorrans joined West Brom from Scottish First Division side Livingston in 2008 for £100,000.
Match Facts & Stats:
Swansea City: WWLWD
West Bromwich Albion: LWLWW
Swansea have scored the least number of goals in the Championship (thirty-one), forty less than their opponents.
No club has done the double over West Brom this season, Swansea and Crystal Palace are the only teams who still could. Craig Beattie was the match-winner when the two teams met at The Hawthorns back in October.
Draw game. The Baggies boast an impressive away record this season and will be out for revenge but Paulo has made us incredibly difficult to beat, especially at home.
Queens Park Rangers v Swansea City
Saturday 20 March 2010