Swans v West Brom: The big talking points

28th November 2018
First team

​​​​​​​Swansea City look to bounce back from their weekend defeat to Norwich City when they host West Bromwich Albion tonight (7.45pm).

Here all the key discussion points heading into the game.


The right response

The Swans have tended to respond pretty well when they have lost games this season, and that is the challenge for Graham Potter’s men once more this evening.

Only once this term have the Swans lost back-to-back Championship fixtures.

The challenge tonight is to ensure that remains the case, but that will not be easy against a powerful West Brom side.

The first task for the Swans must be to avoid the sort of soft goals which meant Norwich ended up sealing victory with something to spare last Saturday.


Albion’s arsenal

The Swans’ defensive record this season remains impressive despite those four Norwich strikes last time out.

Potter needs his team to rediscover the miserly touch which has become familiar in recent months as they take on the Championship’s leading scorers.

West Brom have netted a whopping 39 goals in their 18 league games to date this season, considerably more than anyone else in the division.

Star strikers Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez have nine goals apiece, while on-loan Leicester winger Harvey Barnes has seven and Matt Phillips has five.

No fewer than seven others have scored at least once for the Baggies in 2018-19, so the Swans must deal with multiple threats this evening.


Bonner’s back

Graeme Jones won many friends and admirers during his stint as assistant manager to Roberto Martinez at the Swans.

He has returned to SA1 in the past alongside Martinez, with whom he worked at Wigan and Everton as well as the Belgian national team.

But the partnership was broken up in the summer when the man known as Bonner agreed to become Darren Moore’s No. 2 at The Hawthorns.

As well as facing a former club, Jones comes up against an old friend tonight in the shape of Potter.

The pair became close after playing together for Boston United, with Jones having a hand in Potter’s appointment as Ostersund manager.


No return for Bartley?

Jones might not have been the only ex-Swans employee on the visitors’ team bus tonight.

However, it seems former Swans defender Kyle Bartley will miss out on a first reunion with his former club due to injury.

The 27-year-old has played 16 times for West Brom following his summer move from the Liberty, but is likely to sit out the Swans clash because of a knee complaint.


Potter’s plan

Having made numerous changes to personnel and the set-up of his team during the early stages of his Swans reign, Potter has kept a slightly more stable side in recent matches.

However, the Swans boss made two substitutions at half-time in the defeat to Norwich last weekend, and it will be interesting to see if there are alterations from the start for the Baggies’ visit.

The likes of Martin Olsson, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Joel Asoro, Barrie McKay, George Byers and Yan Dhanda will all be hoping for an opportunity.

Wilfried Bony should get some more game-time – though whether he is fit enough to start is doubtful – while Jefferson Montero returns to the fold.

Certainly, Potter has options.