Premier League – Swans v Everton at 15:00 on Saturday, 19th September 2015
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: A Holmes, R West
Fourth Official: J Moss
As Everton visit the Liberty this weekend, there should be no shortage of motivating fators for the Swans, which range from reacting to last week’s below-par performance to the return of former gaffer Roberto Martinez, but perhaps the biggest motivation of all is the fact that the Swans have yet to beat the Toffees in the Premier League!
In fact the history books make bleak reading, with Wales’ only Premier League team having only beaten the blue half of Merseyside once in 23 occasions in all competitions – that victory coming in last season’s League Cup, an emphatic 3 nil win at the Liberty.
But as we have seen, particulary in 2015, history and reputations seem to matter little to this Swans class under the tutorship of Garry Monk. There is little doubt that last week’s poor performance was made all the more stark, when comparisons were made to the bright start to the season, not to mention re-writing the history books last season.
Whilst it won’t be easy this weekend against the Toffees (it never is!), I fully expect the Swans to bounce back and deliver the peformance levels we have become accustomed too. It is hard to imagine so many players having an ‘off-day’ for a 2nd week!
On the pitch there is little to choose between the two sides, with the Swans unbeaten at home (W2) and Everton unbeaten on the road (W1 D1).
Despite press reports to the contrary, Steven Naismith is likely to start for Everton after his hat-trick heroics against Chelsea last week, despite only coming on as a sub for the injured Muhamed Besic. Martinez will no doubt be hoping that Seamus Coleman comes back into contention after suffering a hamstring injury (like Besic) against Chelsea last weekend.
There’ll also be an opportunity to see how Toffess centre-back John Stones – touted as a future England captain and with a £30m+ price tag around his next – deals with Messrs. Gomis and Ayew.
All in all it makes for an interesting encounter and perhaps will to use Monk’s words be a “benchmark” for how well the Swans are really doing this season – despite positive results against unusually poor Chelsea and Manchester United teams.
As for our favourite football pundit from the BBC, Lawro has gone for a 1-1 draw, adding:
The Welsh side never really got going in their defeat against Watford last week, but that was their first hiccup of the season and I don’t think they will be as complacent again this weekend.
In fact, if you read most game previews, the majority of people are going for a draw, which just goes to show how close an encounter this is likely to be!
Last Swans result at the Liberty Stadium
11 April 2015: Swans 1 Everton 1
Current League Form
Predicted Swans Starting XI:
Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams (Capt), Taylor, Cork, Shelvey, Ayew, Sigurdsson, Montero, Gomis.
Swans 2 Everton 1
At the Bookies
Those of you who fancy a flutter might want to check out the odds being offered on the game at the moment.
Sky Bet are offering Andrew Ayew at 11/2 to be the first goalscorer.
You can also get odds of 12/1 on the game ending as a 2-2 draw with Sky Bet.
A really bold bet would be backing the Swans to win by 3 clear goals at 11/1.
If you’ve not got a Sky Bet account, they are currently offering a FREE £20 when you bet just £5.