Date:Friday September 21 2012
Saturday, September 22
Everton travel to South Wales to take on Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in the early kick off on Saturday. After a bright start from both sides, which included winning both their opening games, they are now winless in their last 2 games and will be seeking for 3pts to stop the run. Everton endured a luckless night on Monday as the officials denied two clear cut goals as they were held to a 2-2 draw against Newcastle. Swansea suffered their first loss of the season last weekend, going down 2-0 to Aston Villa, in what was a disappointing performance from Swansea, although they will look to bounce back on their home turf, where they are notoriously good. Everton will be desperately seeking the 3pts after the disappointment of Monday night and look to build on their decent start.
Influential Belgian Marouane Fellaini had this to say about the upcoming fixture
'That is a tough game. Swansea were a revelation last season and played good football. We beat them twice and that will give us extra confidence for the game, but it is a new season, they have a new manager and some new players. It will be difficult but we will be looking to win the game."
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is looking forward to the challenge of facing Everton on the weekend saying
'It is a big challenge for us. David Moyes has been there 10 years so everyone knows exactly what is wanted of them. They are strong with a lot of individual quality, especially on the left side where they are very good with Baines and Pienaar. And everybody knows about Fellaini who is a difficult player to mark in particular in the last third. They are a strong side but we have a lot of confidence and we know what we are capable of.'
Swansea also have a few injury concerns and suspensions to key players. Club captain Ashley Williams is struggling with an injury picked up after the Villa game and is 50-50. Meanwhile Swansea will have to do without Neil Taylor (ankle) and Kemy Agustien (calf). They will also be without central defender Chico after he picked up a red card.
Possible Starting XI: Vorm, Rangel, Tate, Williams, Davies, De Guzman, Britton, Routledge, Dyer, Michu, Graham
The goalscoring midfielder has settled into life in the Premier League rather easily. Picked up for a mere 2mil during the summer from Rayo Vallecano, after scoring 15 goals in La Liga, the Spainard has started where the left off having already found the net 4 times this season. Everton will need to keep a close eye on Michu because he does tend to float in between the midfielders and the defence to find himself in dangerous positions. If Everton can curb Michu's effect on the game, then they could be leaving South Wales with all 3pts
The major concern for Everton is the fitness of frontman Nikica Jelavic after he injured his knee after colliding with the post, he has been listed as a serious doubt, so it looks like he will not feature, which opens the door for Victor Anichebe, who scored the 2nd and had a goal disallowed when he came on against Newcastle. The other injury concern is Darron Gibson, who will miss the match with a thigh strain. In a boost for Everton, deadline day signing Bryan Oviedo has bee given international clearance and could make his debut for Everton
Possible Starting XI: Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Neville, Fellaini, Osman, Pienaar, Naismith, Mirallas, Anichebe
Everton's left back is in brilliant form to start the season. Defensively has been solid, but going forward is where the Everton man is really hurting the opposition. Against Newcastle on Monday was on the scoresheet and also stopped a certain goal with a goal line clearance. In order to stop Everton, it will be imperative for Swansea to stop the left hand side of Evertons because Baines and Pienaar, currently, are the most dangerous left hand side in the league in my opinion.
1. Swansea are still winless against Everton in all competitions. They have faced each other on 15 occasions with Everton winning 11 and the rest ending in draws
2. Swansea are unbeaten at the Liberty in their last 5 games, winning 3 of them
3. Everton have just lost 1 of its past 7 away games in the league
4. Everton have hit the woodwork 4 times this season, the most in the league
5. All 5 goals Everton have conceded this season have come in the 2nd half
The corresponding fixture last season saw Everton tactically dominate Swansea by stifling their notorious passing style and walk away with a comfortable 2-0 win. I doubt it will be that easy this time around, as early season Swansea have been very impressive at home and under Laudrup look a very organised and fluid side. Despite the disappointment of Monday night, Everton, especially in the 1st half, were outstanding and hopefully the result has not effected the morale of the group. Everton will need to be on the ball in order to beat Swansea. If we get the starting line up right (i.e. No Neville in midfield) then I think we can win, but ultimately Neville will be starting in the midfield so I will take a 1-1 draw, with Mirallas and Michu scoring. COYB!!!!!! LETS HOPE FOR SOME COMPETENT OFFICIALS THIS TIME ROUND!!!!!
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Date:Friday September 21 2012
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