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West Ham United-Swansea City Preview

AP - Sports

Two teams struggling for consistency will meet at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, when Swansea City host West Ham United.

Swansea (3-1-4) have been an outstanding addition to the Premier League since their promotion to the top flight three seasons ago. However, adapting to the joint demands of their first ever season in Europe has seen Michael Laudrup's side begin the season slowly.

On paper, Sunday's match appears to be the classic clash of styles, with Swansea playing passing football and West Ham often opting for a more direct approach, but Laudrup was full of praise for the Hammers ahead of the game.

"I like managers and teams who are very clear about what they want," said the Dane. "There is not one truth in football. There is more than one way to play. People tend to think the winner is always right, but I always respect people who are very clear in what they want and what they are doing. There are some who say one thing and do another, but Sam Allardyce is very honest in what he wants and what he asks from his players.

"They are very strong and when we played them away last year they were very good so we know it will be difficult."

West Ham (2-2-4) have shown flashes of brilliance - most notably in a 3-0 win at Tottenham - but have struggled on the whole this season. The Hammers lost three of their last four in the league, and their shock win at White Hart Lane is one of just two from their last 18 games on the road - a run in which they have bagged just eight goals.

"Certainly the last away performance at Tottenham is something we have to try to emulate at Swansea," said West Ham boss Sam Allardyce. "We have to go there with a positive attitude and say to the players: 'I want you to perform like you did at Tottenham and if you do that, you're going to give Swansea a hell of a game and will get chances to win the game'.

"Swansea, as good as they are, are not as good as Tottenham, so if we get to that level, we'll get the opportunity. Whether we take it or not will be a different matter."

Laudrup has fitness concerns over Pablo Hernandez (illness), but is definitely without Ben Davies (ankle) and Ashley Williams (ankle). West ham have doubts over George McCartney (knee), Gary Demel (knock), James Collins (hamstring), while Alou Diarra (knee) and Andy Carroll (ankle) remain out.

Swansea are looking for their first back-to-back Premier League wins since December 2012, but their 4-0 victory over Sunderland last weekend did end a run of eight straight home games without a win.

The Swans' tally of 12 goals scored is the most that any team outside of the current top four have managed so far this season, and Laudrup's side have bagged eight in their opening four home games of the campaign.

The Hammers have the joint-best away defensive record in the league this season, conceding just once in their four matches on the road, but they haven't won back-to-back top-fight matches away from home since December 2007.

Last season's Premier League meetings were the first ever between the two clubs in the English top- light. An Andy Carroll effort helped the Hammers to a 1-0 win at Upton Park, but goals by Angel Rangel, Michu and Danny Graham saw Swansea run out convincing 3-0 winners at the Liberty Stadium.

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