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West Ham vs Swansea – Match Preview

Another week and it’s fair to say that there is another relegation ‘6 pointer’ in our midst as West Ham play host to Swansea at The London Stadium this afternoon. There is no denying the importance of this fixture with both teams desperately needing a win.

If you looked at the league placings then you would point to Swansea obviously needing the win more but at the same time you only have to point to the fact that West Ham have lost their last five league matches and the pressure is once again beginning to mount on Slaven Bilic.

The run of results is obviously bad enough but it has now meant that The Hammers have slipped to as low as 15th in the table and they are only five points from safety. They must also be incredibly grateful that today’s opponents Swansea lost in the cruelest of circumstances on Wednesday otherwise the gap would have been just three.

West Ham were simply nowhere close to Arsenal on Wednesday as Arsene Wenger eased the pressure on himself as he led his side to a comfortable 3-0 win at The Emirates. It’s a result which just turns the screw on West Ham manager Bilic with some quarters saying the defeat to Swansea could see him get the sack.

Whether that is the right decision or not can be argued but once again we are in the situation where club owners are getting jittery around pulling the trigger, with the club in a slide David Gold and David Sullivan may feel a change of ideas are necessary to make sure their Premier League status is secured.

And should Swansea pick up a win today then the gap between the two clubs will stand at just two points, would that be enough for the trigger to be pulled and for Bilic’s tenure in East London be bought to an end. We have seen it happen with so many other clubs that it no longer becomes a surprise.

Swansea have pulled the trigger not once but twice this season but it’s fair to say that they have got the right man now in Paul Clement. He has masterminded a reversal in fortunes for the South Wales club and he nearly masterminded a huge win over Tottenham on Wednesday.

With just two minutes remaining their resolve was finally broken by Dele Alli in what looked like the points were to be shared but Swansea then were left with nothing after Hueng min-Son’s late winner while Christian Eriksen added insult to injury with a third late on.

The question now is just how much of an effect will that on Swansea over the rest of the season, it’s not just the defeat but the manner in which they collapsed which could have wider repercussions and that’s not forgetting the fact that they themselves have not won in four matches.

It’s a run of results that has seen them move back in to the bottom three after Hull’s resurgence which saw them earn maximum points over the course of the past 7 days thanks to back to back wins against West Ham and Middlesbrough.

And with Sunderland and Middlesbrough all but relegated their is just one unwanted spot left to fill at the end of the season, Swansea will of course not want to be there and they will look to drag West Ham into the relegation dogfight with a win today.

The problem that Swansea have and West Ham to perhaps a larger degree is that their form has left them at the wrong time of the season. Swansea had that burst of result at the start of the year which in fairness they needed as without them they would have been cast adrift a long time ago.

So you then have to ask yourself where is a positive performance going to come for either of these two clubs, they will look at it and think well with two clubs in such bad form at least there has to be a positive result for someone later on today.

But on the flipside you get the feeling that the nerves may be too much and it could create a cagey atmosphere, it now becomes the kind of game where no-one wants to lose and for that reason I think these two teams will end up sharing the points at The London Stadium.

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