Just about everything fell perfectly for West Ham yesterday, as Arsenal and Chelsea both lost, and the Hammers can spring even further with a home win today.
With many singing the praises of Southampton, West Ham has been one of this season’s most impressive stories that has gone largely under the radar.
They can announce themselves for real today at home against Swansea City from Upton Park at 8:30am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Sam Allardyce has made two changes from a side that won at the Hawthornes last weekend, with previously injured summer signings Alex Song and Enner Valencia both making their way back into the starting lineup, sending Mauro Zarate and Morgan Amalfitano both to the bench.
One milestone for West Ham does see captain Kevin Nolan make his 500th senior start in club play, quite a mark for the 32-year-old who has struggled with fitness this season, looking for fourth full 90 minutes of the season, and third in their last four matches.
On the other end, Swansea manager Garry Monk has made just one forced change – Angel Rangel returns for a suspended Neil Taylor – days after the current manager declared their last visit to East London was marred by fear. Swansea fell 2-0 at Upton Park in February, the match that sealed Michael Laudrup’s fate and sent Monk to the helm.
“That performance was the most I’d seen from a Swansea side in my time where we’d worried so much about an opposition,” Monk said of the match that eventually saw a managerial change. Monk, then a part of the backroom staff, was put in place of Laudrup on an interim basis and earned the job through results the rest of the way.
West Ham: Adrian, Jenkinson, Cresswell, Tomkins, Reid, Song, Kouyate, Nolan, Downing, Valencia, Carroll.
Bench: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Collins, Amalfitano, Cole, Zarate, Sakho.
Swansea: Fabianski, Rangel, Bartley, Williams, Richards, Britton, Ki, Routledge, Sigurdsson, Montero, Bony.
Bench: Tremmel, Amat, Tiendalli, Carroll, Shelvey, Dyer, Gomis.