Fifth placed West Ham host seventh placed Swansea on Sunday afternoon, looking to make it three wins on the spin and keep the pressure on the top four.
The Hammers have claimed scrappy but impressive back-to-back wins over Newcastle United and West Brom in the past week, which will have instilled great confidence going into this encounter with another side hoping to mount a concerted challenge for Europe.
Sam Allardyce’s outfit have only lost one of their last eight matches and their last home defeat was way back in August. A win on Sunday would see them leapfrog both Manchester United and Southampton into third, and although maybe only temporarily as they play each other on Monday it still provides a huge incentive.to fight for three precious Premier League points.
Star striker Diafra Sakho and midfield dynamo Alex Song have been back training this week and are in contention to make the squad, and although they are not fit enough to complete 90 minutes they could still provide a vital contribution to the match.
Mark Noble is facing a race against time to be fit following the injury he picked up last weekend, but Enner Valencia should be in from the start following his substitute appearance during the win at West Brom in midweek.
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The fact West Ham could have all of their strikers available for selection will be a major boost, not only to the team’s morale, but to their attacking play.
Valencia and Sakho were instrumental in the Hammers' thrilling start to the campaign and even to have just one of them back from the off should help the team play the free-flowing football that has at times deserted them in the last few matches.
Only one of West Ham's last five league goals have been scored by strikers. Of the previous nine, seven were netted by front men. Allardyce needs his forwards to recapture their shooting boots quickly against a strong Swansea side.
Andy Carroll is yet to find the net since returning from injury and will be desperate for a goal, starting alongside Valencia would be hugely beneficial as his pace and movement would create space for him.
West Ham have won nine of their last 11 home games against Swansea in all competitions, losing zero. Furthermore, Garry Monk’s side have only won one on the road this season.
However, just two points behind the Irons in seventh, Swansea are a massive threat going forward and boast the highest scoring Premier League striker of the calendar year – Wilfried Bony.
15 of Swansea's 19 league goals this season have been either scored or assisted by one of Bony or Gylfi Sigurdsson. The pair of them have created an almost telepathic understanding and West Ham must stop them from playing if they are going to have a chance of winning the match.
WEST HAM: PREDICTED XI
Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid, Tomkins, Cresswell; Nolan, Kouyate, Amalfitano, Downing; Valencia, Carroll.
West Ham 2-2 Swansea
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