West Brom v Swansea City preview and betting tips: Anelka returns for Baggies after retirement rumours

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Event Date: September 01, 2013 14:30 CET

Swansea City added several quality players to their already talented squad this summer, and so naturally, good things are expected of them in the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season. But unfortunately, a difficult fixture list means that they have lost both the opening games of their new season and currently sit dead last in the league standings.

Granted that for a club of their stature, opening a campaign against giants like Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur is never easy, but they were still expected to extract at least some positive out of those mismatches due to the stellar job they’ve done in the past two season in the top division. They couldn’t, but it was supposed to be a bonus, so it doesn’t matter much. However, excuses of those kinds wouldn’t work in their upcoming away game against West Bromwich Albion, and they must be on top of their game because another loss could make things serious for them. They have to face Liverpool after this one, so the game in question must not end in another defeat for them.

Fortunately, their opponents, WBA, have done only slightly better than them in their first two games. An opening day home defeat to Southampton was followed by a 0-0 drab-fest away at Everton. They did beat Newport County 3-0 in midweek in their League Cup tie.

Both these sides have punched above their respective weight in the past few seasons. They both earned their topflight berths a few seasons ago but have quickly established themselves as decent mid-sized clubs in the division. They also have young, talented managers at the helm. Still, their playing styles are very different. The Swans, drawing from the personal style and flair of their boss, Michael Laurdup, play the rather attractive, continental style of football while Steve Clarke’s side is built from the back in the traditional English mould.

Last year, both their meetings were won by home teams.

West Brom received a massive boost on Thursday when their veteran striker Nicolas Anelka, who was mulling over retirement, decided to continue his career. He is now available for this game. Much is being made of Swansea’s summer additions, but the Baggies have made some decent signings too without being in the limelight. Former Swansea winger Scott Sinclair is also in their squad along with the talented striker Matej Vydra and experienced centre-half Diego Lugano. All three started in the 3-0 defeat of Notts County on Tuesday.

It’s the Baggies’ home, and they have new players who weren’t available in the opening day defeat to the Saints. Therefore, the play here is to back West Brom with Bet365′s DrawNoBet option at a return of 1.83.

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