Swansea v West Brom: Baggies to bring Swans back down to earth

Valerien Ismael - West Brom
West Brom are doing well under Valerien Ismael

High-flying West Brom travel to the Liberty Stadium to face improving Swansea on Wednesday night. Mark O'Haire previews the televised encounter.

"The Baggies are also inside the top-three for all the major performance data metrics and have pocketed W7-D3-L0 when taking on teams in eighth and below"

Swansea v West Brom
Wednesday October 20, 19:45
Sky Sports

Swansea dominate South Wales derby

Swansea claimed the South Wales derby bragging rights with a dominant display on Sunday, running out 3-0 victors. Jamie Paterson inspired City with one of the most memorable goals in the recent history of this fixture, flashing home a shot from 25 yards to give the hosts a lead on the half-hour mark, and the Swans appeared in complete control thereafter.

Paterson went on to assist goals for Joel Piroe and Jake Bidwell to secure Russell Martin's biggest result as Swansea boss, only the club's third Championship success this season. The home side enjoyed 74% of possession and comfortably won both the shots on-target and corner count in an impressive overall display, much to Martin's enthusiasm.

Speaking post-match, the Swansea chief said, "It was an incredible performance. I'm really proud of the players, the courage they showed on an occasion like this. I feel like a performance like that has been coming. After that first 15 minutes I thought we controlled the match in a good way and the way we hurt Cardiff in the second half was excellent."

West Brom grind out vital victory

Karlan Grant scored the only goal of the game as West Brom ground out a West Midlands derby win over Birmingham on Friday night at The Hawthorns. Grant's powerful 75th-minute strike was enough for the Baggies to take top honours and keep the pressure on the early pacesetters in the Championship, in a match devoid of major goalmouth action.

Chances were thin on the ground, and so it took the game's one moment of genuine individual brilliance from Grant - the Albion striker's fifth goal in as many games - to settle it. And head coach Valerien Ismael spoke of his satisfaction at this side's ability to pinch the points against a resolute Birmingham side that came to contain and counter.

Ismael said, "I said to the guys at half time - we need to do it better, we need to move the ball quickly, to have quick free kicks and throw-ins, to raise the intensity in the game. We have the quality to score at any moment, so be patient. Overall, there were a lot of positives. Three points, a clean sheet, a local derby won. Matt Clarke back after his injury".

Albion fair favourites

West Brom and Swansea have been regular competitors across the past 10 seasons and contests have been relatively even. The Baggies have posted W8-D3-L9 across the last 20 league meetings, with Albion currently enjoying an unbeaten five-game spell against the Swans (W3-D2-L0), as well as a W5-D2-L1 return when facing-off at The Hawthorns.

Swansea 4.1 endured a difficult start to the new season with Steve Cooper leaving his post late in the day and Russell Martin taking time to mark his mark at the Liberty Stadium. The hosts have kept five clean sheets in six on home soil (W2-D3-L1) and come into this clash having lost just once in seven Championship outings (W2-D4-L1) since August.

West Brom 2.0421/20 are three points off the Championship summit in second and rank second for Expected Points (xP). The Baggies are also inside the top-three for all the major performance data metrics and have pocketed W7-D3-L0 when taking on teams in eighth and below. Valerien Ismael's outfit have gone off as strong favourites in their last 11 outings.

Baggies to bring Swans back down to earth

A clash of styles could be on the cards in South Wales with Swansea preferring to monopolise possession and West Brom happy to get the ball forward quickly, as well as utilising set-piece situations. The market is trending towards the Under 2.5 Goals 1.824/5 line, and that's been the case in six of Albion's last eight, and four of Swansea's six at home.

However, the Baggies have enjoyed a couple of days extra rest and there's potential Swans could also be suffering with a derby day hangover following their Sunday exploits and so I'm happy to have Albion onside by taking the West Brom 0 & -0.5 option on the Asian Handicap at 1.758/11 via the Exchange. We'll lose just half of our stake should the game end all-sqaure.

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