Everton vs Swansea
England Premier League.
Date: Saturday, 19th November 2016,
Kick-off at 15:00 UK.
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool.
Bob Bradley's clueless Swansea travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton. The Toffees, too, are short of confidence following a 5-0 pounding at the hands of Chelsea, but should have enough to see of Swansea's meek challenge.
Seventh placed Everton host a seriously struggling Swansea side who lie 19th in the league, five points off of safety and yet to win under new boss Bob Bradley. Although Chelsea made Everton look like relegation-fodder themselves, they're a much better outfit than the Swans and should have no problems, in theory, in seeing off their meek challenge. Swansea are directionless at present, putting in minimal effort on a weekly basis and I don't see that chaging on the weekend.
LAST TIME OUT
Chelsea 5-0 Everton
After a creditable and rather convincing victory at home to West Ham United, the Toffees crumbled as they were routed 5-0 by Chelsea. The absence of midfield maestro Idrissa Gueye, who is proving to be one of the bargain buys of the summer after joining from Aston Villa, proved pivotal and will welcome him back with open arms when he returns.
A brace from a rejuvenated Eden Hazard, former Bolton Wanderers and Fiorentina left back Marcos Alonso, and Spanish duo Diego Costa and Pedro saw Antonio Conte’s men climb to second in the table and Everton drop to seventh with their third loss of the campaign. Prior to this victory, Everton had one of the best defensive records in the league and I expect them to return to their best against Swansea.
Swansea City 1 -3 Manchester United
This was the perfect opportunity for Bob Bradley to make a statement as the first American manager to manage in the Premier league era to claim a scalp against one of the richest clubs in the world, but it was just not to be. Reeling after a midweek Europa League loss to Fenerbache and supposedly in crisis, Bradley should have encouraged his players to really take the game to United, but, instead, sitting deep and inviting pressure proved less profitable and there was nothing the Swans could do to resist the might of United.
The visitors went 3-0 up after just 33 minutes when superstars Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted a brace and Paul Pogba produced a spectacular finish from the edge of the area which meant United were home and dry and certainly answered the critics, despite centre half Michael van der Hoorn grabbing a consolation midway through the second half. After this lesson of how to dominate a game throughout, it was back to the drawing board for Bradley’s men.
After having to sit out the previous fixture against Chelsea, expect to see Idrissa Gueye recalled to the Toffees' starting line-up. Leighton Baines, James McCarthy and Arouna Kone are all still on the short-term injurt lift, whilst Muhamed Besic isn't expected to make his return until February.
SwanseaChampionship outfit Barnsley, could be set for a rest after taking a battering from Ibrahimovic and co. a fortnight ago, as his confidence dropped, with Jordi Amat taking his place. There are also doubts over the fitness of Jefferson Montero and Nathan Dyer.
KEYS TO THE GAME
A Gueye Return
With Gueye back in the fold and very little changes made by Koeman, it’s no wonder why the Dutchman is very keen on sports science and player fitness. Gueye was a noticeable absence last time out against Chelsea and his protection of the back four was crucially missed as Everton conceded five goals, despite having one of the best defensive records in the league coming into this game. Whilst Swansea don't possess the same attacking power as Chelsea do, having Gueye back in the side will surely give Everton a confidence boost coming into the match.
No running men?
The Toffees have outrun their opponents just once this season in the Premier League, a joint-league low with Manchester United. It was noticeable against Chelsea as the Blues really put them to the sword, Everton not helping themselves with the effort they put in off of the ball. They're going to need a harder-working performance against Swansea, but are still likely to outrun their opponents, nonetheless, who don't seem to put much effort in themselves.
Swansea missing the past
Ashley Williams made 181 Premier League appearances for Swansea between 2011 and 2016 and is in line to start against his former employers. more than any other Swans player has in the competition for the club. The Swans are definitely missing the Welsh Captain right now considering Bob Bradley hasn't won any of his first four league games as Swansea boss. No Swansea manager in the Premier League has failed to win any of his first five games in charge. Williams's importance to the Swans was, perhaps, underrated and only now are we seeing the true impact he had on the Swansea back four, who look lost without his leadership.
PREDICTION: Everton 2-0 Swansea
Everton haven't won any of their last four Premier League games against Swansea (D3 L1), after winning five of the previous six contests. Ronald Koeman's side have won just one of their last six league games, after winning four of the first five this season. However, Everton are unbeaten in their last eight at Goodison Park in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Swansea's win at Goodison Park in January ended a run of 21 successive league games in which they were winless against the Toffees. However, I can't see the Swans putting up a serious fight and I expect Everton to get the better of them with a 2-0 victory.