Swansea City v West Ham: Talking points
23rd December 2016
Swansea City bid to bounce back after two disappointing away days when they host West Ham United on Boxing Day.
Bob Bradley's men are hungry for points after defeats at West Brom and Middlesbrough left them in the Premier League relegation zone for Christmas.
Here we assess the big talking points as they get set to face the Hammers.
Clean sheets the key
A glance at the Premier League table gives you a decent idea of where the Swans have fallen down on their own patch this season.
In eight home top-flight games this season, the Swans have scored 13 goals.
That healthy tally is more than nine of their rivals have managed on home soil this season, including Manchester United.
However, the goals against column makes far less attractive reading. The Swans have conceded 16 times on their own patch in the league this term - more than any other club in the division.
That is the area where Bradley's side simply must do better.
A Christmas Carroll?
The Swans' old friend Andy Carroll has not been fit and firing for much of this season, but he is set to be available having returned from a significant injury lay-off earlier this month.
And that may be bad news for Bradley's rearguard as they look to improve that sorry defensive record.
It must be said that the Swans kept Carroll at bay when they last encountered the powerhouse forward, in the 4-1 victory at Upton Park at the end of last season.
But the England man's overall Hammers record against the Swans is played five, scored four.
He did not net against Monday's opponents while at Liverpool, but did score for Newcastle in one appearance against them.
For sure, he will be one for Alfie Mawson and Co to watch.
A home hat-trick?
For all their recent troubles, the Swans will go in search of a third straight home Premier League victory on Boxing Day having seen off Crystal Palace and Sunderland in their last two Liberty outings.
The club's best Premier League run in SA1 came at the back-end of last season, when Norwich, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool were seen off in successive home games.
Aside from that, there have been just two three-game winning streaks since promotion to the top flight in 2011.
The Swans' maiden Premier League win against West Brom was immediately followed by home triumphs against Stoke and Bolton, while Michael Laudrup inspired a home treble against Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers and the Potters in early 2013.
The Liberty has been good to the Swans boss since he arrived in early October.
A record of one point from six away games under Bradley is well short of what he would have hoped for.
But a return of seven points from just four home games thus far is more than respectable.
Now to improve it further.
Packing a Boxing Day punch
The Swans have done okay on the day after Christmas in recent times.
Last year a goal from Ki Sung-Yueng saw them past West Brom, and 12 months earlier Gylfi Sigurdsson's free-kick was enough to beat Aston Villa.
There was a satisfactory goalless draw at Reading in 2012, with the Swans' one Boxing Day defeat in the Premier League coming at Chelsea (1-0) in 2013.
In 2011-12 they played on December 27 because of TV scheduling, drawing 1-1 with Queens Park Rangers.
Former Swans forward Ayew has made just five starts since his £20.5 million summer move to West Ham thanks largely to a serious thigh injury.
There have been 10 Hammers appearances in all for the Ghanaian who, surprisingly, is yet to score for his new club.
Swans fans know all about Ayew's eye for goal given that he ended as top scorer at the Liberty - with 12 strikes - in his one campaign in these parts.
They will not wish to be reminded of his finishing power on Boxing Day, of course.