Meet the opposition: West Brom
As Swansea City prepare for their Championship clash with West Brom at the Liberty on Wednesday night (7.45pm), we take a closer look at the men from The Hawthorns.
What’s their story?
West Brom were relegated from the Premier League alongside the Swans and Stoke City last season, finishing in 20th position despite an impressive resurgence late in the campaign.
The Baggies are a side with Championship pedigree having been promoted twice since the league’s rebranding in 2004, in 2007-08 and again in 2009-10.
Their finest hour in the Premier League came in the 2012-13 season, when the goal scoring form of Romelu Lukaku helped them to an eighth-place finish, three points above the Swans in ninth.
Having dropped out of the top flight only to respond quickly on a number of past occasions, West Brom will hope to do the same this season.
How’s their form?
West Brom started the campaign with a surprising 2-1 defeat at home to Bolton but their form has been fairly steady ever since. They currently sit in fourth place, just five points off top spot.
A highlight of the season so far came back in August when goals from seven different scorers saw Albion dismantle QPR in a 7-1 rout.
The emphatic win would precede a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough before a seven-game unbeaten run.
After defeat to Hull at the beginning of the month made it four games without a win, West Brom come to the Liberty in high spirits after back-to-back victories against Leeds and Ipswich.
Who’s the boss?
Darren Moore. Moore was a powerhouse centre-back in his playing days, and these days cuts an imposing figure in the dugout.
He featured more than 100 times for West Brom between 2001 and 2006 and played for a number of other clubs including Doncaster, Portsmouth, Derby and Barnsley.
A likeable and popular figure, he was appointed caretaker boss at West Brom following Alan Pardew’s exit in early April.
He was soon earning plenty of plaudits but, despite inspiring a huge turnaround in form, he could not prevent the club from being relegated.
Moore had done enough to land the job on a permanent basis, though, and his first full season is going well so far.
Who are the key men?
West Brom have young Englishman Sam Johnstone in goal following his summer move from Manchester United.
Ex-Swan Kyle Bartley could miss out on a return to Wales because of injury, but Egypt international Ahmed Hegazi and Craig Dawson are among the options for Moore in defence.
On-loan Manchester City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo is another who could play at the back.
Moore isn’t short of experience in midfield with the likes of Gareth Barry, Chris Brunt, James Morrison and Jake Livermore on the books.
Young winger Harvey Barnes, who is on loan from Leicester, has been in superb form, while Matt Phillips and Hal Robson-Kanu offer further threats from the flanks.
The Baggies have scored more goals than any other Championship side this season, with Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez leading the charts with nine goals apiece.