With a win over Swansea at Upton Park today, West Ham could pull themselves out of the relegation zone (7:45 a.m. ET, watch live online on NBC Sports Live Extra).
The Irons have had an interesting time of it over the past couple months, with their normally stoic defense often falling to pieces, most notably in cup matches. But West Ham managed to hold Chelsea to a goalless draw midweek, and by bringing in five players on loan this January, it’s clear they mean to do whatever they can to stay in the Premier League.
That may include Sam Allardyce sticking to his traditional tactics against Swansea, particularly as it proved so fruitful midweek. The Swans are no Chelsea – especially without Michu – but they’ve still managed to make things tough for the opposition. The reverse fixture ended in a 0-0 draw, and Allardyce just might decide to play for that point once more.
West Ham may have made a splash in the transfer market, swooping in to snag quite a few out of favor players from Serie A, but none of the new signings make the Starting XI. Allardyce makes just two changes to the side that held Chelsea midweek, with Joey O’Brien and Mohamed Diamé both injured. Matt Jarvis and George McCartney step in to help prop up the Irons’ defense.
Swansea didn’t make as many waves in the transfer market – rather surprisingly, considering the injuries they’ve faced this season – but newcomer David Ngog makes the bench. Michael Laudrup has made three changes to the side that beat Fulham midweek, with Angel Rangel, Leon Britton and Pablo Hernández dropping to the bench, and Dwight Tiendalli, Jordi Amat and Nathan Dyer taking their place.
West Ham United: Adrian, McCartney, Nolan, Tomkins, Jarvis, Carroll, Taylor, Noble, Collins, Demel, Downing
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Morrison, C.Cole, Johnson, Borriello, Nocerino
Swansea City: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Amat, de Guzman, Shelvey, Dyer, Routledge, Bony
Subs: Cornell, Rangel, Britton, Pozuelo, Lamah, Hernandez, Ngog