Afternoon all and welcome to Sports Mole
's live text coverage of West Ham United
's trip to Swansea City
. Both sides need the three points at the Liberty Stadium, albeit for very different reasons.
SWANSEA XI Fabianski; Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Britton, Cork, Ki, Sigurdsson, Ayew; Gomis
SWANSEA SUBS: Nordfeldt, Naughton, Amat, Shelvey, Barrow, Montero, Emnes
Well, interim boss Alan Curtis has decided to make just the one change for West Ham's visit. Wayne Routledge, who is suffering with a knee injury, has dropped out of the squad. In his place comes Befetimbi Gomis, while Jonjo Shelvey is among the substitutes.
And now let's take a look at how the visiting Hammers are going to start this encounter...
WEST HAM XI: Adrian; Tomkins, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Song, Antonio, Kouyate; Zarate, Jelavic
WEST HAM SUBS: Randolph, Jenkinson, Oxford, Cullen, Hendrie, Obiang, Valencia
With Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho both ruled out through injuries, boss Slaven Bilic has turned to Nikica Jelavic to lead the West Ham attack. That is the only alteration that the Croatian has made from the draw with Stoke City last time out.
This man has not been in great form of late, but he did at least end a 12-game barren spell last time out at Man City. They will be hoping that it has done the Frenchman's confidence the power of good.
The Swans can at least boast a positive record against the Hammers at home in the Premier League. Out of three games, they've won once and drawn the other two.
And another win today is very much needed. They start this game three points adrift of safety. A victory would lift them out of the drop zone on goal difference - something that is vitally important if Premier League history is anything to go by. Teams that find themselves in the bottom three on Christmas Day find it very hard to get out.
Here come the two sets of players and they are welcomed by a good atmosphere inside the Liberty Stadium. Not long now until we are off and running in South Wales.
KICKOFF! The visitors from Eat London get us underway. Big 90 minutes ahead.
Not too much to report from the opening five minutes, although the home fans are getting behind the interim manager:
First real meaningful attack of the game is put together by Swansea as Gomis feeds the ball through for an advancing Rangel down the right flank. The full-back's cross is a dangerous one, but Ogbonna is alert enough to clear the ball behind for a corner.
CHANCE! And now the Swans have a sight of goal. Taylor loops in a cross from the left which Ayew is able to position himself underneath. He manages to head the ball goalwards, but it ends up landing harmlessly on top of the net. Nevertheless, it's bright stuff from the home side.
It seems that crossing is the way forward for Swansea today. It's Rangel on this occasion that sends the ball early into the box for Ayew, but it flies just above the attacker's head.
Their side may be struggling to make an impact on this game at present, but there is reason for West Ham fans to remain optimistic:
SAVE! And just as I say that, West Ham have their first effort at goal. Zarate's strike from distance was routinely stopped by Fabianski, but at least it's a sign of intent from the away team.
That shot from Zarate was just some momentary restbite for West Ham, though. It's the Swans that are the dominant force, with the only thing lacking from their play being the final pass. If they remain patient, surely it will come.
Here's a shot of Swansea's Cork (right) and West Ham winger Antonio battling for possession.
SAVE! Fantastic football from Swansea and in particular Taylor, who wins possession back from Antonio and marches forward. His low pass finds Gomis in the box and the Frenchman in turn slots in Ki. The midfielder's shot is low and powerful, but Adrian is equal to it. That's lifted the atmosphere inside the Liberty Stadium.
CHANCE! You would expect a bit more from Noble in this position. First of all it's Swansea defender Rangel that makes a mistake in possession and Jelavic pounces, before making his way down the left flank. His cutback is perfect for Noble on the edge of the area, but the West Ham skipper sends a shot skidding harmlessly wide. From there, you'd expect him to at least hit the target.
A little stat has just popped up that showed how many passes both sides have completed. It's overwhelmingly in Swansea's favour as they lead 252-63. Still, it's the scoreline that is the most important stat of them all and that currently reads 0-0.
SAVE! Zarate has been West Ham's liveliest player so far today and he again takes aim from distance. His swerving effort may have been going off target, but to be safe Fabianski opted to turn the ball around the post.
CHANCE! Anyone but James Collins! That is what the West Ham fans must be thinking right now. Antonio's cross is punched down into the ground by Swansea keeper Fabianski. It falls for Collins, who seems to have the whole goal to aim at. But, the centre-back takes too long to get the ball under control and by the time that he fires goalwards, Swansea have regrouped and the shot is blocked.
True words being spoken by former West Ham striker John Hartson over on BBC Sport
"West Ham are sneaking back into this game very slowly. It was a good effort by Zarate but it was always just going wide despite Fabianski's save."
CHANCE! Swansea's Ayew hits the net, but sadly for Swansea it's the side netting! Gomis's mishit shot falls kindly for Rangel, who flicks the ball into the path of Gomis. His low strike has Adrian worried, but there is not quite enough curl for the ball to roll inside the near post. Close.
There will be a minimum of one minute of stoppage time at the end of this first half.
HALF-TIME: SWANSEA 0-0 WEST HAM
There goes the whistle for the break. To be honest, it's not been the greatest half of Premier League football. The fact that there have been only two shots on target (one each) tells you all that you need to know.
In terms of possession and their build up play, it's difficult to be critical of Swansea. In that sense, this is the best that they have played in recent weeks. But, the final pass has been lacking and on the odd occasion it's been good, the finishing has then let them down. They've had 74% of the ball, yet as mentioned moments ago, have mustered one shot on target. It's easier said than done, but they need to be more precise in the final third.
As for West Ham, they've not exactly been what you could call adventurous. That's understandable to a degree given that they are without a number of key players that are injured. They look content to get men behind the ball and then try to hit Swansea on the break. That's a dangerous game to be playing, especially if the home side can string something clinical together.
Here's some more from Hartson, again on BBC Sport
"It's not been a great spectacle to be honest but it's been pretty much all Swansea without them creating that much in front of the West Ham goal. But West Ham really don't look like they can score, they have no danger up front."
RESTART! Neither manager has made a change as hosting Swansea get us back underway in South Wales.
PENALTY APPEAL! Big shouts from West Ham for a penalty as Antonio drives into the box. The ball strikes the arm of an off-balance Williams, but that would have been a harsh decision. Referee Lee Mason rightly shakes his head and play continues.
Aside from that penalty shout, it's been a rather mundane start to this second half. Both goalkeepers have been spectators.
That's a little bit better from West Ham as Jelavic and Antonio link up well. The latter tries his luck from the edge of the box and sees his wayward shot deflect for a corner off Williams, which is easily cleared.
WEST HAM SUB: Is this the man to spark West Ham into life? The fit again Valencia has replaced Zarate.
SAVE! Well, Swansea have woken up. What a goal it would have been from Cork, who powers a volley goalwards from 20 yards out. Luckily for Adrian there are no bodies in his way and he's able to push the ball away. In terms of technique, it doesn't get much better than that from Cork.
PENALTY APPEAL! Now Swansea want a penalty and this time Mason has got it wrong. Ki's shot looks to be going in, but it's blocked by a sliding Collins. A host of home players surround the referee and the replays show why - the ball clearly struck the West Ham defender's hand. Collins didn't know much about it, but he's stopped a goal. It has to be a penalty, but the official is not interested.
If nothing else, that incident has lifted the atmosphere inside the ground. Understandably things had got a little quiet with very little happening on the pitch.
SWANSEA SUB: First change of the afternoon for Swansea and it's the injured Rangel that limps off. He's been replaced at right-back by Naughton.
I don't know how many times it has been, but Gomis has just been flagged offside again. It must be five or six, at least! Whether it's laziness or bad timing of the run (or a bit of both), the 30-year-old needs to sort it out because it's killing his side's attacks too often.
SWANSEA SUB: Another alteration for Swansea as Cork comes off to be replaced by Shelvey.
SAVE! Fabianski hasn't had much to do today, but he's just pulled off a smart save. Valencia cuts inside a flat footed Naughton from the left and drives a rising shot goalwards. The ball was probably creeping under the bar, but the Swansea keeper is there in plenty of time to turn it over.
CHANCE! Up the other end, Adrian rushes out to thwart Gomis, but the ball drops kindly for Sigurdsson. The Icelandic midfielder takes one touch and by that time both the West Ham keeper and his defenders have been able to set themselves. He still gets a shot away, yet it rolls wide.
SWANSEA SUB: Third and final change for the home side sees the disappointing Ayew trudge off, with Barrow taking his place in attack.
WEST HAM SUB: A sign that West Ham boss Bilic is settling for a point? Winger Antonio goes off and on comes right-back Jenkinson.
BOOKING! Jenkinson's first real involvement sees him get booked for trying to stop Taylor from taking a quick throw.
Both sides had one shot on target each during the first half and it's been the same after the restart. That sums this game up - dull!
There will be four minutes of stoppage time at the end of this match. Any danger of a shot or two during that time?!
FULL TIME: SWANSEA 0-0 WEST HAM
Thankfully there goes the final whistle to put everyone out of their misery! It was a poor game at the Liberty Stadium, with neither side able to argue that they deserved any more than a point. It leaves Swansea 18th and two points from safety, while the Hammers stay eighth.
And that is all we have time for in South Wales. Thanks for joining us this afternoon and until next time, goodbye.