West Brom-Swansea City Preview


Swansea City have made an impressive start to the season and will be looking to maintain their 100 percent record as they welcome West Bromwich Albion to the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Garry Monk's side hit the ground running in their opening fixture of the season when they beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford to spoil Louis van Gaal's first match in charge of the Red Devils.

The Swans made it two wins in two Premier League games after beating promoted Burnley 1-0 at home last weekend. Winger Nathan Dyer scored the winning goal midway through the first half.

Monk made 10 changes to his starting lineup for their League Cup match against second-tier Rotherham United at the Liberty on Tuesday evening, and the Swans still came out top with a 1-0 victory. France striker Bafetimbi Gomis - a summer signing from Lyon - scored his first goal for the Welsh side.

"I believe in the players that we have here," Monk told his club's official website after the Rotherham match. "Everyone is in it together, and the whole squad can compete for a first-team place.

"From what we have shown so far this season, we've showed the right attitude. The momentum that we have at the moment, albeit only three games, is good."

Monk was further boosted by news Thursday that South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng had signed a new four-year contract that will keep him at Swansea until 2018.

West Brom started their league campaign under new manager Alan Irvine with two straight draws. They drew 2-2 at home to Sunderland on the first weekend of the season before playing out an uneventful goalless draw at Southampton last Saturday.

The Baggies also advanced in the League Cup after beating fourth-tier Oxford United 7-6 in a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw at the The Hawthorns on Tuesday.

Oxford defender Johnny Mullins scored a 29th-minute own goal to give West Brom the lead before the visitors hit back with an 86th-minute equaliser through David Hylton.

"We made it hard work," Irvine told his official club website after the Oxford match. "We turned what was looking like a comfortable game into something extremely uncomfortable.

"I'm pleased to get through but disappointed too about some things we did as the game went on, particularly late in the second half. We have to make sure we stop conceding late goals. It happened last year - and it has to stop."

Irvine has been very active in the transfer market and made his 10th signing of the summer earlier this week when Portugal winger Silvestre Varela joined the Baggies on a season-long loan deal from Porto.

Other new faces at The Hawthorns include defenders Chris Baird, Joleon Lescott and Sebastien Pocognoli, midfielder Craig Gardner plus strikers George Samaras and Brown Ideye. West Brom paid a club-record fee believed to be around £10 million pounds when they signed Nigeria international Ideye from Dynamo Kiev.

Both teams won away when they met last season. West Brom secured a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium in March. Roland Lamah scored early for the Swans, before Stephane Sessegnon equalized early in the second half and Youssouf Mulumbu netted the winner for the Baggies five minutes from time.

Swansea won 2-0 at The Hawthorns in September with goals from Ben Davies and Pablo Hernandez.

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