Swansea V West Ham at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

By
24 December 2016
Swansea V West Ham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.


Federico Fernandez and Ki Sung-yueng should return for Swansea

Swansea have broken-toe victims Federico Fernandez and Ki Sung-yueng available for the Boxing Day home clash with West Ham.

Fernandez is a real contender to return in central defence on the back of Swansea conceding six goals in defeats at West Brom and Middlesbrough.

Ki might have to settle for a place on the bench, but Kyle Naughton and Jack Cork are possible options with under-pressure manager Bob Bradley considering changes.

Bradley has accepted Gary Lineker's criticism of Swansea.

Match of the Day host Lineker suggested a home game against Swansea was the fixture every Premier League club wanted after Bradley's side surrendered timidly in a 3-0 defeat at Boro.

Swansea are back on home soil for their next two games - against West Ham on Boxing Day and Bournemouth on New Year's Eve - but under-fire boss Bradley did not hide from accusations that his relegation battlers are too soft to survive.

"I think there are days that is true, in some games we have not had a hard enough edge," Bradley said.

"So I agree with that. Our ability to compete, win duels, they tip the scale and are things we have looked at.

"There have been some games when we weren't easy to play against, such as the first half at West Brom.

"But when you give up a goal from a set-piece just after half-time the game changes, and we did not manage to stick in the game.

"It's about concentration and realising you have got to just hang in there.

"You cannot let your guard down for a moment and that part has to improve, that is the reason we have been so inconsistent."

West Ham will be without Diafra Sakho after boss Slaven Bilic confirmed that the striker could be out for six to eight weeks due to a back injury.

The Senegal international has only made two appearances during his injury-plagued season but was substituted during the draw against Manchester United last month.

Midfielder Gokhan Tore is still out with a knee problem, Pedro Obiang is suspended and Reece Oxford (ankle) and Simone Zaza (knee) remain sidelined, while defender James Collins is a doubt as he continues his recovery from a muscular injury.

Bilic believes Andy Carroll's enthusiasm to return to full fitness will rub off on his team-mates.

The Hammers travel to the Liberty Stadium on the back of successive Premier League victories over Burnley and Hull. Those games also saw Carroll earn starts for the first time in over three months following a serious knee injury sustained in their Europa League clash with Romanian side Astra Giurgiu.

Although the 27-year-old marksman has been plagued with injuries throughout his career, Bilic insists that Carroll's desire and hunger to return to action has always been apparent, even from watching the forward during his days at Newcastle and Liverpool.

"I was watching Andy playing for Newcastle, Liverpool and West Ham on television and you could see the energy," Bilic said.

"Last season was the same, his first game (under me) was against Newcastle, we won 2-0 and he came on in the last 10-15 minutes and you could see he was like a little kid, he wanted to do anything then every game he was playing as an impact player.

"That (enthusiasm) is the key for every player or man no matter what your job is. What is important is to have a player who can rub off on the other players without that you cannot progress, you can win a football game but less likely.

"He is ready. You know with Andy, you know what you are getting. During the game, in training, you always know what you are going to get. You're going to get everything. Commitment, quality, impact, he's that kind of guy and player."


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