In the 29th round of matches of the 2017/2018 Premier League season, David Moyes’ West Ham United make the trip to South Wales to face off with Carlos Carvalhal’s Swansea City in what is being dubbed a real relegation six-pointer for both sides.
The Swans go into the clash off the back of an FA Cup fifth-round proper reply beating of Sheffield Wednesday on home turf on Tuesday evening, while the Hammers have had slightly longer to recover from their 4-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield, the hosts are the slight favourites for this one.
The encounter is scheduled to kick-off at 3 PM tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 3 March 2018), and as is customary with traditional afternoon starts of that time, no live television coverage will be available for viewing inside the United Kingdom.
However, you can catch live radio commentary on BBC Radio London or TalkSport 2, but if you’re not going to be near a radio device this weekend, never fear, if you head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter, you can be sure to find live build-up, updates and reaction from Wales, there is a small chance that this encounter may be postponed as the UK is rocked by Storm Emma.
The visit of Moyes’ Hammers will be held at the Welsh club’s relatively modern and new stadium of the Liberty Stadium, which they moved to from the Vetch Field 13 years ago in 2005.
The spectacular ground has a capacity of just 21,088, though plans are in place in the future to enable the stadium to hold over 40,000 spectators in a redevelopment, but nothing is cast in stone yet.
Aside from football, the venue also hosts the home matches of Rugby Union team Ospreys and has welcomed the Wales national team on a number of occasions, as well as being a world-class site for many different concerts and events.
Tomorrow afternoon will be the fifth time that West Ham have visited the Liberty, losing one, drawing three and claiming their only triumph on their last outing there, half-way through the 2016/2017 campaign, to the tune of 4-1 with strikes from Andre Ayew, Winston Reid, Michail Antonio and Andy Carroll rendering a late Fernando Llorente strike useless.
Swans boss Carvalhal has a number of injury worries ahead of the Saturday affair as he confirmed in his Pre-West Ham United Press Conference on Thursday, but none of them new.
Ex-Hammers star Ayew and former Leicester City man Andy King return from being Cup-tied on Tuesday night, Leon Britton could appear in the Premier League for the first time since October 2017, four long-termers remain out, however.
Whereas, Irons manager Moyes revealed some positive news in his own Presser early on Friday morning that he also has no fresh injury concerns before the journey.
This means that Manuel Lanzini is expected to start back-to-back matches having returned from injury, while Reid could get back into the Xl after making the bench last weekend, but long-term worries Pedro Obiang, Carroll and Edimilson Fernandes are still sidelined.
The first-teams of Swansea City and West Ham United have met an impressive 52 times in competitive football in a meeting that has been being renewed since all the way back in the year 1922.
This weekend’s visitors have the edge on the overall record, emerging victorious on 29 occasions, while the hosts have only repeated that feat on 18 instances and there have been 15 draws.
In recent times, the fixtures have very much followed suit and out of the last ten meetings, the East Londoners have won six of these encounters, only lost one and shared the points three times, giving them the statistical edge in Swansea.
Last time out back in September of 2017 at the London Stadium, the Irons, then under Slaven Bilic stole a narrow triumph over the Swans, then managed by Paul Clement, courtesy of a Diafra Sakho strike in the dying embers in Stratford.
Swansea City Association Football Club was founded in the year 1912 as Swansea Town AFC, changing their name in the 1960s to City and have endured a roller-coaster ride since, switching from the Welsh to English football system in 1921.
The club are not known for their giant haul of major honours, winning their first in record style in 2014, winning the League Cup and thus gaining entry to the next season’s edition of the Europa League, but their more recent successes in this century.
Having yoyoed through the divisions for many years, the Swans gained promotion to the Premier League in 2010/2011, the first time they had been in the English Top-Flight since 1981, having been in the fourth tier as recent as the 2004/2005 campaign.
Nowadays, under larger than life Spaniard Carvalhal, Swansea sit 18th in the PL standings, five places and three points below their opposition, and are fighting to stay in the Top-Flight for the second season in succession, though they are through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and look an entirely new team under their new manager.
Who Is Officiating?
Experienced Select Group and Premier League Referee Martin Atkinson will be the man in the middle in Wales tomorrow afternoon, acting as his Assistants are Peter Kirkup and Adrian Holmes, and fellow Select Grouper Roger East will take up the role of Fourth-Official.
So, now that the Liberty Stadium scene has been well and truly set for an exciting afternoon of Premier League football, can the hosts bounce back to boost their chances of avoiding the drop?
Or, can the visitors avoid a fourth defeat of 2018 in all competition to move a step closer to the magic figure of 40 points? Think you know? Be sure to head over to our page @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to cast your early score predictions and join the pre-match discussion.