It was the perfect start last weekend as Kevin Nolan scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the opening game of the season.
Despite the game not having many talking points, the goal initially looked to have been fairly controversial but replay show that Ricardo Vaz Te was ruled onside before he played the ball back into the box for Nolan to slot home.
We were introduced to Mohamed Diame, who was impressive in midfield, while we also welcomed back James Collins who put in a man-of-the-match performance against his former club. Striker Modibo Maigo came on with ten minutes left and almost marked his debut with a goal when he rounded Shay Given, but his shot was blocked on the line to deny him a dream debut.
The performance, although average, showed promise of a tight defence and we looked difficult to break down throughout. We mustn’t get carried away, though. Villa were poor and rarely threatened Jussi Jaaskelainen in goal. However, that’s no taking anything away from how we performed as a team.
Today we confirmed the signing of Matt Jarvis who will add a new dimension to our attacking options. He looks like he could be the next Matty Etherington, which means we can look forward to pacy runs down the wing and dangerous deliveries in the box – something we’ve been missing for some time.
Swansea got their season off to a dream start with a 5-0 win away to QPR last week and will be hoping to recreate that kind of display in front of their own fans tomorrow.
The likes of Scott Sinclair Nathan Dyer and Michu will pose a serious threat to the Hammers but, if the side can stay as tight and solid as they were against Villa, Swansea will have trouble scoring one, let along five.
Swansea City (3rd, 3pts)
New signing Kyle Bartley could replace Chico Flores who has a late fitness test.
Fellow new arrivals Ki Sung-yeung and Itay Scechter are inelegible as their moves from Celtic and Kaiserslauten weren’t completed in time.
West Ham United (8th, 3pts)
Club record-signing Matt Jarvis goes straight into the squad and is expected to start.
Jack Collison remains sidelined with a recurring knee injury.
Modibo Maiga will be hoping to make his first start for the Hammers but may have to settle for the bench, while midfielder Alou Diarra still waits for his debut.
The Match in Numbers
13 – West Ham won 13 away games in the Championship last year, which is a new club-record.
4 – Despite this, the Hammers have lost their last four Premier League away fixtures.
6 – West Ham are unbeaten in their last six meetings with Swansea.
32 – It is 32 years since Swansea last won a league game against West Ham.
6 – Big Sam’s team has won their last six competitive fixtures.
10 – The Hammers are unbeaten in 10 competitive games.
13 – It is 13 years since these sides last met in a competitive fixture.
1 – Only one player has ever had an affiliation with both clubs. Leon Britton, who never made a single appearance for the Hammers, joined Swansea in 2003.
Head-to-Head (all competitions)
Swansea City – 16
Draws – 12
West Ham United – 23