West Brom v Swansea: Baggies to edge entertaining encounter


CHAMPIONSHIP specialist James O'Rourke (@JamesOR1) shares his thoughts on Sunday's match-up between West Brom and Swansea.

West Brom v Swansea | Sunday 8th December 2019, 12:00 | Sky Sports

Two clubs that have graced the Premier League in more recent time’s battle off in a televised Sunday lunchtime encounter as West Brom face Swansea at The Hawthorns. West Brom returned to the top of the table following their controversial Monday night win at Preston, but Swansea’s wobbles continued after going down at home to Fulham.

I struggle to think of many people who won’t have been impressed by West Brom over these last run of games. They are becoming something of a polished outfit under Slaven Bilic, who if you remember wasn’t necessarily the most welcome of managerial appointments over the summer. Nevertheless, he has proved his worth so far, with only Leeds managing to beat them over 19 matches.

True, they needed a bit of help from the referee to win at Preston last time out, but they were the better team over the course of that game, and not many sides go to Deepdale and play as well as that. That made it five straight wins for the Baggies and nine without defeat. They’ll fancy their chances against an out of sorts Swansea.

As mentioned, Swansea just aren’t quite themselves at the moment. Whilst it will seem a concern for them in here and now, the reality is that these things tend to happen in this crazy division. It won’t shock me at all to see them put another run of results together in the not too distant future, although The Hawthorns is arguably the last place they want to be going right now.

Or is it? Steve Cooper’s team probably appear more comfortable playing on the road at this moment given they’ve lost four of their past five at the Liberty Stadium. They do actually possess not just the only unbeaten away record in this season’s Championship, but in the entire EFL. That includes going to Elland Road and beating Leeds 1-0 back in August. They have however drew three of their last four away.

One factor that I do think will work in Swansea’s favour on Sunday is that this should be an open game. West Brom’s home matches have averaged 4.11 goals so far, with all finishing with both teams scoring. WBA are much more conservative away, with 8/10 ending under 2.5 goals, so they really like to cut loose in front of their own fans. This will provide Swansea with chances, but obviously they need to do a job defensively.

West Brom are yet to taste defeat at home this season and have averaged 3.00 goals across their previous seven home fixtures. Swansea have conceded in each of their last six away in league and cup, and they’re going to face their biggest defensive away test this season. I’m not so sure they can handle it considering they’re wobbling at the moment. Although it is mostly their home form, it will still be playing on their minds.

I’m backing West Brom to win and end the last remaining EFL unbeaten away record but Swansea will cause them a scare. West Brom to win and Both Teams To Score will be the play at 21/10 (Bet365).

As mentioned, every WBA home game has seen BTTS pay out, yet they’re still unbeaten and scoring goals for fun here. WBA have only lost one of nine games this season when conceding first, proving that they can fight until the end and this Swansea defence are set to be given a long and lengthy examination on Sunday.

Best Bets

West Brom v Swansea – West Brom to win and Both Teams To Score (21/10 Bet365)

About Author

Since leaving university I've worked as a Research/Football Performance/Betting Analyst. I live and breath all things football. This has gradually helped me with my betting when looking for value and ultimately, winning selections. I've experienced both the bad, and more recently, the good supporting Lincoln City, with whom my weekends aren't the same without.

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