Swansea City-West Ham United Preview
By RYAN WILLOX
STATS Football Writer
(AP) -- West Ham United and Swansea will each try to build on positive midweek results when they clash at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.
Swansea (6-6-11) secured a first league win in nine when they overcame Fulham 2-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday.
The Hammers were accused of playing "football from the 19th century" by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho following their 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday but manager Sam Allardyce credited his team with a defensive display of "sheer brilliance".
West Ham (4-7-12) haven't conceded a goal away from home in 204 minutes of play across three games including a win at Cardiff and the Chelsea draw.But it is at Upton Park, where they have the worst home record in the division that Allardyce is looking for a marked improvement.
"We've already got a better away record this year than last, so it's at home where we've let ourselves down," Allardyce told the official club website. "I think we've got to improve the home results, starting with Swansea on Saturday.
"We wasted the chance at home to build on our win at Cardiff against Newcastle (a 3-1 loss), due in part due to the injury circumstances that we had. Hopefully, those injuries won't affect the back four going out there on Saturday. Winston Reid is nearly back now and we won't slip up like we did against Newcastle. After a hard-earned point at Chelsea, it's got to be followed up with a result against Swansea."
Swans manager Michael Laudrup wants his side to maintain their momentum in the Premier League after following up last weekend's FA Cup win over Birmingham City with victory over Fulham.
"It's a huge win," Laudrup told the club website. "Firstly, because it's quite some (league) games since we have won and second because it was against a direct opponent. The win gives more confidence. We go into the next game with two consecutive wins. That must give the players that belief that we are moving forward."
Swansea sit on 24 points only five ahead of Saturday's opponents who are in 18th, the final relegation place.
Laudrup has identified the upcoming run of fixtures against West Ham, Cardiff City, Stoke and Crystal Palace as being crucial to their efforts to avoid being pulled into the relegation scrap.
"We have four more games against direct coming up, and every game is a six pointer," he said. "When you play direct opponents it's even more important to get a win."
The sides played out a goalless draw in late October at the Liberty Stadium. This will be only the fourth Premier League meeting (and just the eighth top flight) all-time between the sides, and the first three were split right down the middle, with one West Ham win, one Swansea win and a draw.
Swansea have failed to score in their last two against the Hammers, but they did manage three goals in their first ever Premier League meeting, a 3-0 win at home in August 2012.
An Andy Carroll goal 13 minutes from time secured the points for West Ham in the corresponding fixture last season.
The sides meet somewhat infrequently with the net result that Swansea have triumphed only once at the Boleyn Ground in 22 attempts and that not since August 1956 so it would be something of a collectors' item if they were to emerge with three points.
Swansea will likely be without Michel Vorm, Jose Canas and Michu for at least another week while Garry Monk is a longer term injury. West Ham will be missing the injured Joe Cole, Mohamed Diame and Joey O'Brien.
Updated January 30, 2014