Belfast Telegraph

Williams reaches Swans milestone

Swansea skipper Ashley Williams will make his 300th appearance for the club as manager Garry Monk brings back the senior guard for the Barclays Premier League visit of West Ham on Saturday.

Williams' central defensive partnership with Federico Fernandez will be restored after Monk named a makeshift team for the FA Cup victory at Tranmere and England Under-20 midfielder Matt Grimes and Portuguese loan striker Nelson Oliveira are included in the squad for the first time after January moves.

Top scorer Wilfried Bony, who is on the verge of completing a £30million transfer to Manchester City, and Ki Sung-yueng are both away on international duty while Jonjo Shelvey (suspension) and Jefferson Montero (hamstring) remain unavailable.

West Ham currently sit seventh in the table, just three points and two places above Swansea, and recorded a 3-1 victory over Monk's side last month.

Monk said: "I felt disappointed that day because we didn't reach the levels we have set this season," he said.

"We were up against a very good side, but we didn't use our strengths. Hopefully we can do that a lot better on Saturday and get a positive result.

"I think they have done very well this season. I watched them against Everton on Tuesday and they played some excellent football.

"They have scored some good goals and have a strong team with a great squad of players.

"(Andy Carroll) has done well against us. We have to deal with that and stop the source as well. Hopefully we can implement that into the game on Saturday and the players are understanding a lot more about those situations."

West Ham duo Diafra Sakho and Cheikhou Kouyate are ruled out.

Kouyate has departed to play for Senegal at the African Nations Cup and Sakho was expected to join him but the striker suffered a recurrence of a back injury against West Brom on New Year's Day and has remained at West Ham.

Sam Allardyce has no other injury concerns for the clash at the Liberty Stadium, where the Hammers will be looking to register their first win in four league matches.

Assistant boss Neil McDonald said: "Swansea play some really good football. We've already beaten them once. I think the stats said we out-passed them.

"We're playing some good football as well, we're looking forward to the game. They've got a couple of players missing too I believe so it will be an interesting contest."

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