Where: Liberty Stadium
When: 10 a.m. EST, Saturday September 19th 2015
Referee: M. Oliver (Averaging 3.65 cards per game this season)
Subs from: Cornell, Tremmel, Amat, Britton, Emnes, Dyer, Oliveira, Bartley, Obeng, Richards, Montero, Grimes
Doubtful: Cork (thigh), Montero (hamstring)
Injured: Carroll (ankle, May), Naughton (ankle, Aug)
Mental State: Swansea let the lethargy of the international break carry over into their week five match-up and paid the price for it, giving Watford their first win in the English Premier League. Whether Watford seriously challenged the the club in week 5 or Swansea simply played down to their level of competition, Swansea needs the wheels of their dynamic attack to be turning. Bafetimbi Gomis missed out on an opportunity to tie a club record last week (five goals in the five season opening EPL matches) so expect “the panther” to be stalking around the box hungry for goals this weekend.
Club manager Gary Monk didn’t mince words about the loss to Watford, “We have no excuses. We were quite sluggish. I have no complaints with the results.” Expect Swansea to come in looking to set the tempo early against Everton rather than risk dropping further down the ladder and away from the top 4. Left back Neil Taylor has lent his voice to the discussion as well remarking that his side had 100 wrongs against Watford that they need to make right before Saturday the 19th. He exits the discussion on a high note saying, “It’s difficult to take, but like we’ve always said, we don’t get too high after wins against Manchester United and we don’t get too low after defeats like Watford.”
Expect the Swans in a form more akin to their first four weeks this Saturday.
Subs from: Robles, Distin, Browning, Koné, Naismith, Besic, Mirallas, Atsu, Pienaar, Alcaraz, Griffiths, Garbutt
Doubtful: Lukaku (hamstring)
Injured: Hibbert (knee, 18 Apr), McGeady (back, 18 Apr), Oviedo (hamstring, 18 Apr), Gibson (metatarsal, Aug)
Mental State: Everton are coming off of a big win against Chelsea where they held last years champions to just two shots on goal for the entire ninety minutes. That brick and mortar kind of defense is what is freeing up strikers like Steven Naismith to record hat-tricks against major EPL teams. Naismith came on as an early sub in the Chelsea match and ended up having the most impact on the game.
Unfortunately Everton’s leading goal-getter, Romelu Lukaku, is likely to be watching the game from the bench with a nagging hamstring injury. Everton want to pierce the top four of the rankings so expect them to come out looking to control the tempo and pace in much the same way that they did against Chelsea. The last thing back-line defenders like John Stones want is Gomis or Ayew hitting their stride and bouncing back to form against the Toffees.
Everton will work their game through possession and stalwart defending, minimizing Swansea’s chances while creating their own.