Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City

Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Swansea City

West Bromwich Albion play host to Swansea City on Monday evening with Steve Bruce still looking for his first victory since being appointed as manager earlier this month.

The Baggies have lost five of their six matches in the Championship, while Swansea have lost four times over the same period to be left with little to play for during the remainder of the campaign.

Given his track record in the Championship, there was an assumption among some that Bruce would sweep into The Hawthorns and immediately improve matters on the pitch.

However, after Valerien Ismael ended his reign by collecting just five points from seven games, Bruce has followed suit by picking up just one point from a possible 12, the only goal coming in the 2-1 reverse at Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Although there is an argument that it is still early days in his reign, Bruce has little time to get West Brom back into the playoff picture, the gap standing at seven points before the weekend’s fixtures.

To some extent, the Baggies should only focus on their own results after winning just once in 11 matches, that solitary triumph coming at home to struggling Peterborough United.

With 39 points still to play for, it is too early to write Bruce and West Brom off, but failure to overcome their next opponents will only lead to more discontent in the stands.

Sitting 15 points adrift of the playoffs and 17 above the relegation zone, Swansea fans have probably already made peace with the fact that it will be an uneventful end to the campaign.

Even with games in hand on the teams above them, the Welsh outfit are realistically out of the playoff picture, but that will not stop Russell Martin demanding more from what remains a talented squad.

Collecting 11 points from nine games is not a disastrous return, but the manner of their 4-0 defeat to Sheffield United highlighted how far away that Swansea are from the best teams in the division.

Swansea have not prevailed away from home since beating Barnsley on November 24, a run spanning six games, but Martin will sense an opportunity to get back on track given the disarray at West Brom.

West Bromwich Albion Championship form:
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Swansea City Championship form:
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We say: West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Swansea City
If the formbook is anything to go by, no-one should be expecting goals in this contest. We feel that a solitary strike could decide matters at The Hawthorns, with the Baggies potentially edging this fixture with a second-half effort.

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