Meet the opposition: West Brom

12th March 2019
First team

As Swansea City gear up to take on West Brom at The Hawthorns on Wednesday (8pm) we take a closer look at the Baggies.

What’s their story?

Despite a resurgence in form late in the campaign, the men from the Hawthorns were relegated along with the Swans and Stoke from the Premier League last season, finishing in 20th place at the end of their eighth-straight season in the top-flight.

Their best Premier League finish came in 2012-13, when Romelu Lukaku's goals helped them to eighth place with the Swans just three points and one place behind them.

In total the Baggies have had four spells in the Premier League and, with a play-off spot in their grasp, West Brom will be hoping to make their way to the top-flight come the end of the season.

They won their sole top-flight title in 1920, and are five-time FA Cup winners, with the most recent of those triumphs coming courtesy of a victory over Everton at Wembley in 1968. They have also won the League Cup once, in 1966.

How’s their form?

A little shaky. The Baggies are currently on the longest winless streak at home in the Championship this season, without a win in their last six home appearances.

Their last three games have seen them suffer defeat at the hands of fellow promotion chasers Leeds and Sheffield United, with a stalemate against bottom club Ipswich last time out meaning they have just one point from nine and leading the club to part ways with manager Darren Moore.

Overall, they have five wins from their last 14 games in all competitions and have tasted victory in just one of their last nine home league games.

Indeed, while no side has more away wins this season, their home record is not even in the top 10 of Championship sides in 2018-19.

Who’s the boss?

Following Moore's departure, James Shan is in caretaker charge. The interim boss looks set to be at the helm against the Swans, although reports have suggested the Baggies could yet have a new man in place for Wednesday's game.

Working his way up through the academy ranks as a coach, Shan became a member of the first-team staff under Moore, helping their late resurgence at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Joining West Brom as an under-7s coach in 2006, Shan has also contributed towards the under-18s' squad and their Premier League 2 side in recent years.

The Baggies interim boss has helped the likes of Chris Wood, Saido Berahino and Sam Field break through at the club, but this is set to be his first senior managerial test.

Who are the key men?

Jay Rodriguez is the leading goal-scorer at the club so far this season, netting on 17 occasions to help drive their promotion push.

Dwight Gayle has also been in fine form for the Baggies, grabbing 16 goals himself along with two assists. Between them Rodriguez and Gayle have scored 33 of West Brom's 68 goals.

Mason Holgate has proved effective across the back four since joining the club on loan from Everton, while former Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone - so impressive on loan at Aston Villa last season - is the main man between the sticks.

Former Swansea defender Kyle Bartley could also feature for the Baggies, while the hosts can call on players with a host of Premier League experience in the likes of defender Craig Dawson and midfielders Gareth Barry, James Morrison, Jake Livermoore and Matty Phillips.