West Ham's improved run of results could be seen as a cause for optimism as they have hauled themselves up to 13th and sit a healthy five points above the drop zone going into today's game. However, more astute observers will have noted the considerable fortune in the two recent wins against the luckless Hull and Burnley and recognise today's game as a genuine six pointer.
The January transfer window may provide an opportunity to bring in some fresh energy but, in reality, there are few success stories that follow from January acquisitions and for every Demba Ba there are a host of Emineke's, Petric's, and, king of them all - Benni McCarthy! January is when clubs offload their failed projects as Simone Zaza will discover.
Moreover, we are not only lacking a reliable source of goals, but have a defence that is unbalanced and desperately leaky. as the Arsenal humiliation demonstrated, we are an atrocity waiting to happen as teams have rumbled how to stop our Payet solo brilliance / Payet to Antonio plan A and B and are pushing up to add to the pressure on our beleaguered defence.
With Cheik Kouyate about to disappear for the AFCON and Diafra Sakho out with 'that' back problem again, we are looking low on resources. Today's bench emphasises how thin we are with more than half the bench comprising youth/development squaddies. The in-form Pedro Obiang is suspended for today which will give Havard Nordtveit another chance to redeem himself after the Spurs howler.
As such, we are gonna need every point we can get our hands on and today's game against a Swansea side that is prolific but equally porous in defence. A big game for Andre Ayew as he returns to his former club. As yet, without a goal, he has started to look sharper and today would be an ideal moment to (finally) announce his arrival.
It looks likely that there will be goals aplenty but either side could come out on top. The Hammers are 2-1, whilst Swansea are 7/5, with the draw at 5/2.
Subs: Adrian, Feghouli, Rice, Pike, Fletcher, Fernandes, Quina