Everton’s realistic hope for a Champions League place has all but vanished; however, a spot in next season’s Europa League and the expectation of finishing above current champions Manchester United is in the pipeline. Roberto Martinez’s finely assembled squad are looking for their third straight league win, after scraping by Cardiff City and West Ham by one goal margins.
Sitting just two points behind fifth placed Tottenham Hotspur, the Toffees have been in good form, and delivered some solid performances. Their chances of a place in the Europe are also boosted by their run in. Teams like Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Fulham and Hull City are still yet to play the Merseysiders, and a win against Martinez former club as a player and manager on Saturday will enhance their chances greatly.
Swansea have fond memories of Martinez when he was in charge between 2007-2009. Dominating and creating a new brand of football for Swansea, the Spaniard guided the South Wales side from League One to the Championship, before take over the reins at one of his other former clubs, Wigan Athletic.
Meanwhile Garry Monk’s men face their ultimate ‘bogey side’. Swansea are yet to beat Everton in their history, playing against each other 14 times in all competitions and losing all of them. The Swans’ form has also taken a huge snag and are hovering dangerously above the drop zone. Winless in their last seven games, losing four of them, and crashing out of the Europa League against Napoli, it’s safe to say that Gary Monk has not had the easiest of starts to his managerial career.
PAST THREE MEETINGS
Everton 3 (Traore, Naismith, Baines pen) Swansea City 1 (De Guzman), FA Cup, February 2014
Swansea City 1 (Oviedo og) Everton 2 (Coleman, Barkley), Premier League, December 2013
Everton 0 Swansea City 0, Premier League, January 2013
No Swansea player has scored in the five Premier League meetings with Everton, with their only goal being a Bryan Oviedo own goal.
35% of Everton’s goals have come in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, the highest proportion in the league this season.
Swansea City have won just two of their last 15 Premier League matches (W2 D5 L8)
Everton have lost just one of their last 23 Premier League games at Goodison Park (W17 D5 L1).
79% of Swansea’s goal attempts have been from open play, the highest proportion in the Premier League.
Everton have scored five goals from direct free kicks this season, the joint-most along with Manchester City.
Everton win: 1.61
Swansea City win: 5.50
TV: Highlights on Match of the Day, BBC1, 10.30pm