Swans to hammer the Irons?
West Ham will be looking to build on its opening day win against Aston Villa when the team travel to Swansea on Saturday.
However, the Hammers know it will not be easy to claim all three points against a Swansea side full of confidence following their 5-0 win at QPR.
The Swans were the surprise package of last year as Brendan Rodgers led the Welsh side to a mid-table finish with a style of football which won plaudits from far and wide and caught the eye of the Liverpool hierarchy.
Despite Rodgers’ move to Anfield in the summer, Swansea has continued to play the same kind of football under new boss Michael Laudrup and will be confident of avoiding the dreaded “second season” syndrome.
They last tasted defeat at the Liberty Stadium at the beginning of April when Newcastle beat them 2-0, and will provide a stern test of West Ham’s Premier League credentials.
Many big teams, most noticeably Arsenal, struggled on their trip to Wales last year and the Irons will be looking to avoid the same fate as their London rivals this weekend.
The key for West Ham will be to disrupt the passing game of Swansea, with captain Kevin Nolan and fellow midfielder Mohamed Diamé tasked with closing down the likes of Leon Britton and Michu.
West Ham has no fresh injury concerns, so it’s expected to field the same XI which beat Villa so comfortably last time around.
Expect Jussi Jääskeläinen to continue in goal, with Ricardo Vaz Tê and Carlton Cole partnered in attack once more.
Summer signing Modibo Maïga will have to settle for a place on the bench once more, but could be offered the chance to make an impact as a late substitute. Jack Collison could also be named among the subs if he passes a late fitness test.
The Hammers are unlikely to be able to push through a deal for Wolves star Matt Jarvis in time for the England international to play on Saturday, with the winger set to agree personal terms with the club over the weekend.
Swansea is also likely to remain unchanged after its thrashing of QPR, with summer signing Michu one to watch.
Vorm; Rangel, Taylor, Chico, Williams; Britton, de Guzman, Michu; Dyer, Graham, Routledge.
Jääskeläinen; Demel, McCartney, Reid, Collins; Noble, Diamé, Nolan, Taylor; Vaz Tê, Cole.
Although he wouldn’t admit, Allardyce would take a point from this game and this resolute West Ham side should have enough to disrupt the rhythm of Swansea and hold out for a point.
Laurence Taylor, football correspondent