Meet the opposition | West Bromwich Albion

30th September 2022
First team
West Brom

As Swansea City prepare to travel to face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns, we look at the history, form and the key figures for the Baggies. 

What's their story? 

Established in 1878 as West Bromwich Albion by workers from Salter’s Spring Works, the Baggies were one of the 12 founding members of the Football League.

Albion have spent much of their history in the top-flight of English football, winning their only league title during the 1919-20 season, whilst enjoying success in the FA Cup on no less than five occasions.

During the 21st century they have had spells in the Premier League, including an eight-year stint which was ended by relegation in 2018.

Six managers in six seasons have followed and a return to the top-flight in 2020 proved shortlived as they dropped back to the second tier after one season.

Last season saw the Baggies finish 10th in the Championship after the departure of manager Valerien Ismael midway through the season and the introduction of Steve Bruce.

How's their form? 

Jed Wallace WBA

Draw specialists Albion enter the encounter with the Swans having only recorded one win in their opening 10 league encounters, and sit in 21st place in the Championship table. 

Small margins have cost Steve Bruce’s side, they have lost just twice and shared the spoils on seven occasions. However, they are winless since a 5-2 home victory against Hull City back in August. 

Last time out they gained a creditable 1-1 draw against promotion chasing Norwich City at Carrow Road, ending the Canaries six-match winning run. 

Who’s the gaffer? 

Steve Bruce WBA

Former Manchester United Captain Steve Bruce has been at the helm since taking over following Valerien Ismael’s dismissal in February.

Bruce has 24 years of management experience, amassing over 1,000 games. He achieved promotion to the Premier League twice with both Hull City and Wigan Athletic.

Spells at Aston Villa, Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Sunderland have also been on Bruce’s impressive managerial CV. 

As a player Bruce racked up more than 700 career appearances, mainly for the red half of Manchester, famously captaining them to the first league title of the Premier League era in the 1992-93 season. 

Who's the captain? 

Jake Livermore WBA

Jake Livermore is the skipper for the Baggies. The former Tottenham Hotspur trainee has been at The Hawthorns since signing from Hull City for £10 million in 2017, making 174 appearances for Bruce’s side and scoring seven goals. 

A highly dependable tough-tackling midfielder Livermore, also has seven England caps to his name. 

Who are the key men? 

John Swift WBA
John Swift

Last season's top scorer Karlan Grant came into his own after a challenging start to life with the Baggies following his move from Huddersfield.

The ex-Charlton Athletic trainee found the back of the net on 18 occasions during the 2021-22 campaign.

The main focal point of the Baggies attack, Grant has four goals to his name in 10 matches this season. 

Behind him John Swift will be looking to build on a strong first season at The Hawthorns as he racked up 13 assists following his arrival from Reading. 

After starting his career at Chelsea, Swift made his name with the Royals, scoring 31 goals in 187 appearances before joining West Brom in the summer of 2021.  

On the flanks. tricky winger Grady Diangana is a regular down the left-hand side under Bruce. The Democratic Republic of Congo-born speedster has started the season brightly, contributing three assists and one goal in the opening 10 games of the season.

After starting his career as a youngster at West Ham United, Diangana is closing in on 100 appearances for the Baggies.