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West Brom vs Swansea – Match Preview

West Brom midfielder Darren Fletcher is set to return after a knee injury while Saido Berahino will be assessed after suffering a dead leg in training.

There could be debuts for loan signings Sandro and Alex Pritchard, the latter having joined from Tottenham on transfer deadline day.

Swansea forward Alberto Paloschi is set to make his club debut after joining for £8m from Chievo last week.

Jack Cork or Ki Sung-yueng will most likely make way for the striker.

Editor’s Note: Saido Berahino grabbed the majority of the column inches related to West Brom over the past month as speculation over his future was a near daily occurance. A £21m bid from Newcastle wasn’t enough for Jeremy Peace to allow him to leave The Hawthorns and it seems as if a bid from Tottenham never came about so the good news for Baggies fans is that he staying to the end of the season at least.

Whether Tony Pulis is doing too many cartwheels remains to be seen although Berahino did make a rare starting appearance on Saturday and managed to bag a brace although it wasn’t enough to beat Peterborough as their late equaliser means that they will have to do it all over again next week.

Now that Berahino will be at the club for at least 4 more Months maybe he can focus solely on matters on the pitch and not having his head turned by prospective suitors. If that is the case then I would expect Pulis to use Berahino more frequently between now and the end of the season.

The Baggies are currently in 14th in the League and 7 points safety, they are in no real immediate danger but at the same time still have a bit of work to do before they can celebrate another season of Premier League safety, the same can’t be said for their opponents Swansea.

Although Swansea are just a position lower down than West Brom they are only 4 points clear of danger. Although that in itself is a turnaround from the precarious situation they found themselves a few weeks ago. The upturn in fortunes in some small part must go to the appointment of new Head Coach Francesco Guidolin.

Since his appointment The Swans have won their last 2 league matches and have managed to drag themselves clear of the drop zone. My only concern is whether they have made enough additions in the January Transfer Window. With only two new faces in the way of Leroy Fer and Alberto Paloschi and the departure of Jonjo Shelvey have Swansea finished the window better or worse off?

Guidolin and Paloschi have worked together before so it’s not if Guidolin has bought a complete unknown but much will be asked of him if Swansea are to stay up this season. The transfer situation was obviously not helped by Guidolin’s relatively late appointment so it looks like The Italian is going to have to work with what he’s got but there is still a fair amount of talent at The Liberty.

As for Tonight I can see Swansea’s unbeaten run continuing but The Hawthorns is never an easy place to go to. I think neither team will want to lose and that’s exactly what will happen. A share of the points for me.


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