Premier League Preview: West Brom v Swansea City
By Football News
Michael Laudrup's side, who sit bottom of the league, are one of just two teams without a point after successive defeats against Manchester United and Tottenham.
Swansea will enter the match on the back of a trip to Romania, with the Welsh outfit winning their UEFA Europa League play-off against Petrolul Ploiesti on Thursday, 6-3 on aggregate, as they booked a place in the group stages of the competition.
They did lose the second leg 2-1 though, and Laudrup bemoaned their failure to convert their opportunities, with Sunday's match on his mind.
He said afterwards: "We wasted a lot of energy because we didn't score when we had the chance to. We have to be much sharper when we have possibilities (to score)."
Swansea – who have lost their last four Premier League matches – left captain Ashley Williams, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey and forward Wilfried Bony out of Thursday's fixture, allowing them to rest niggling injuries.
All three are likely to play but winger Nathan Dyer (hamstring) and defender Neil Taylor (thigh) are certainties to miss.
Left-back Dwight Tiendalli could make his first appearance of the season at West Brom after he re-signed with the club on Wednesday.
While Swansea were one of the undoubted surprise packets of last term – they finished ninth in the Premier League and won the League Cup – so were West Brom, who went one better and ended their league campaign in eighth.
Manager Steve Clarke will welcome French forward Nicolas Anelka back into the fray after he missed the club's last two matches on compassionate leave.
The 34-year-old has been one of four key arrivals for West Brom in the transfer window, with Uruguayan defender Diego Lugano joining on a free transfer, while Scott Sinclair and Matej Vydra signed season-long loan deals.
But Clarke is still anxious about getting more business done before the transfer deadline on Monday.
"I am concerned that we have left it too late and maybe we don't get the right players in," he said.
"The squad is good but they do need some help. It would be nice if the club could help us. I am getting a little bit nervous. I can't say I am confident of landing any player."
Anelka is likely to replace Vydra, who suffered a hamstring injury in West Brom's 3-0 League Cup win over Newport County on Tuesday.
Young forward Saido Berahino scored a hat-trick in the fixture, while Sinclair made his first West Brom appearance.
Sinclair – who made his name at Swansea and scored 22 Championship goals in the 2010-11 season – will come up against his former team for the first time since moving to Manchester City in August last year.
Despite a minor wrist injury, goalkeeper Boaz Myhill should feature for West Brom in the continued absence of Ben Foster (foot), while midfielders Zoltan Gera and George Thorne (both knee) and Steven Reid (knock) have been ruled out.
West Brom have failed to win any of their last five Premier League home games – their last league win at The Hawthorns was a 2-1 triumph against Swansea in April – and they have not scored in four of their last five top-flight fixtures.