Friday, 5 May 2017

Preview: Swansea v Everton

Swansea host Everton tomorrow in a crunch tie that will help decide the Swans’ Premier League fate. Paul Clement’s men currently reside in 18th place, two points adrift of safety and desperately need a win if they are going to survive. Everton will be a tough test with the Toffees flying high in 7th place.

Clement will be buoyed by news that Fernando Llorente has recovered from a stomach bug in time, however, Jefferson Montero’s season looks to be over due to a niggling hamstring injury. The game comes too soon from Angel Rangel who will return to training next week after missing two months through injury.

Everton will be looking to comeback from their 3-0 drubbing at home to leader’s Chelsea whilst Swansea will be keen to extend their unbeaten run to three games. Clement’s side picked up a respectable 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last week, off the back of a promising 2-0 home win over Stoke. If the hosts do go unbeaten, it will be the first time they have done so for three league games this season and if they win, it will be their first back-to-back home wins since May 2016.

Undoubtedly, Swansea will be wary of Everton’s good form and should not be fooled by Ronald Koeman’s six away games without a win, though they should look to exploit the Toffees’ away day misery. Everton have never lost a league match away to the Swans, winning eight and drawing three of the last eleven fixtures and that is something Clement must change tomorrow as time is running out, and fast.

Swansea are unbeaten in their last five games against the Toffees and if they wish to take that to six games, they must be at the top of their game defensively. They may not be bottom but Clement’s men hold the accolade for the worst defensive record in the league, conceding a total of 69. And with players like Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley headed to the Liberty, they can’t afford any mistakes as they could prove fatal.

If the Swans are to get one over on Koeman’s side then it’s highly like Gylfi Sigurdsson will be involved, out of Swansea’s 20 league goals, the Icelandic man has been directly involved in 21 with creating 12 and scoring nine. In addition to this, the midfielder has seven assists from set-pieces, something which no other player in the league is close to matching.

With Hull at home to Sunderland, it’s looking to be a certain three points for Marco Silva’s men thanks to their impeccable home form and Sunderland’s doomed fate. Clement and his side will know the outcome of that game before the kick-off against Everton and they must cope well under the added pressure. But if they manage to keep their form of the last few games up, they are more than in with a chance.

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