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West Brom-Swansea City Preview
Having already secured another season of Premier League play, Swansea City now look to continue a strong late stretch in Sunday's finale against West Bromwich Albion.
The Swans (11-5-21) enjoyed relief after officially avoiding the drop with last week's 2-0 win over Sunderland and Hull City's loss to Crystal Palace. They enter Championship Sunday amid a 3-1-0 stretch.
For a club that needed three managers this season, avoiding relegation is an excellent achievement. One that felt like winning a league title, according to striker Fernando Llorente, who knows something about winning championships from his time at Juventus.
"We have fought a lot to stay in the Premier League, and we deserve to stay," Llorente said. "There have been many difficult moments this season, but I am glad that we are in the Premier League next season."
Llorente proved to be the forward the Swans have desperately needed since selling Wilfried Bony to Manchester City. The Italy international netted 14 goals in all competitions, including a ninth-minute strike to put the Swans in front last week. Kyle Naughton's goal in first-half stoppage time added insurance.
West Bromwich Albion (12-9-16) seek an eighth-place finish - their highest in club history. But since April began, the Baggies are 0-2-6, and have tallied just six goals in their last 11 league contests.
Last time out, Tony Pulis' boys suffered a 3-1 loss to Manchester City at the Etihad. Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure all scored for City, while Hal Robson-Kanu's 87th-minute goal was all the Baggies could muster.
"We set up to try and stop what is undoubtedly world class opposition," Robson-Kanu said. "But unfortunately they got two quick goals and it was an uphill battle from there. We fought until the end and showed great desire but it just wasn't to be."
Despite the defeat, the Baggies still believe they haven't lost their fight.
"We were disappointed to lose against a very good Manchester City side," defender Allan Nyom said. "Everyone can see that the effort is still there but things just aren't quite clicking the way they were before.
"We will keep fighting until the end of the season. We are looking forward to finishing on a high against Swansea."
Swansea have won four of their five home Premier League encounters with West Brom, hitting three past the Baggies on three occasions. Pulis has yet to record a top-flight victory at Liberty Stadium with his team scoring just twice in four games.
Salomon Rondon has scored four goals in his last two appearances against Swansea, including a hat-trick of headers in the reverse fixture in December at the Hawthorns.
Updated May 19, 2017