West Brom - Swansea Preview: League Cup winners look for strong finish against European hopefuls
This Premier League season's two surprise packages clash as rumours over both managers' futures continue, with a Europa League place still an achievable aim for either club
By Jan Kapcia
Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell
Dorrans, Morrison, Brunt
Rangel, Bartley, Williams, Davies
Dyer, De Guzman, Ki, Britton, Pablo
West Brom manager Steve Clarke can welcome back Romelu Lukaku, eligible again after missing out against his parent club Chelsea last weekend, but fellow striker Shane Long (ankle) faces a race against time to be fit.
Chris Brunt looks set to play, shaking off the injury (ankle) that saw him miss the trip to Stamford Bridge. Steven Reid, Claudio Yacob and Jonas Olsson have also been declared fit despite doubts.
Goran Popov is available again following his three-game suspension for his red card for spitting against Spurs, but the Baggies boss may stick with left-back Liam Ridgewell. Out-of-favour Peter Odemwingie should make an appearance from the bench.
Michael Laudrup has no fresh injury worries following the victory at home to Newcastle last weekend, the match only coming too soon for long-term absentees Chico Flores and Neil Taylor (both ankle).
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Seven of West Brom's last eight Premier League wins have seen them score two goals each match.
The Baggies have won only four of the 21 Premier League games they've played in March.
Romelu Lukaku (pictured right) is the highest-scoring teenager in the top five European leagues this season, with 12 league goals.
West Brom boast the best home record outside of the top six, with 26 points from 14 games.
Steve Clarke's men have conceded ten goals in all competitions in the last ten minutes of matches this season while Swansea have scored 15 goals in the same period.
The Baggies have lost the last three matches against Swansea.
The Swans have lost just two points from leading positions this season, the best record in the top division.
Nearly exactly two years ago, (March 5, 2011) West Brom beat newly crowned League Cup winners Birmingham City 3-1, and went on to have a strong finish to the season after Roy Hodgson's first win in charge of the Baggies.
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Top 3 Predictions
West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Swansea City
- 21.47 %
West Bromwich Albion 0-2 Swansea City
- 13.14 %
West Bromwich Albion 2-1 Swansea City
- 10.9 %
|Premier League (EPL)||1 Sep 2013||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Swansea City 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||9 Mar 2013||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Swansea City 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Nov 2012||Swansea City 3 - West Bromwich Albion 1|
|Premier League (EPL)||4 Feb 2012||West Bromwich Albion 1 - Swansea City 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||17 Sep 2011||Swansea City 3 - West Bromwich Albion 0|
|West Bromwich Albion|
|7 Dec 2013||West Bromwich Albion 0 - Norwich City 2||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Manchester City 3||EPL|
|30 Nov 2013||Newcastle United 2 - West Bromwich Albion 1||EPL|
|25 Nov 2013||West Bromwich Albion 2 - Aston Villa 2||EPL|
|9 Nov 2013||Chelsea FC 2 - West Bromwich Albion 2||EPL|
|30||Sebastien Gabriel Tamaş||Defender|
|20||Jonathan De Guzmán||Midfielder|
West Brom's strong home form and Swansea's neat passing approach will prove an intriguing encounter, but with just four wins from 14 away games the Swans are not as intimidating on their travels. Romelu Lukaku notched twice in his last game for the Baggies - after being ineligible to face parent club Chelsea - and he may well prove to be the difference again.