Considering the fact that Everton are a seasoned top flight outfit whereas Swansea are still only in their second campaign at this level, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Toffees have much higher expectations for this campaign. However, with both sides locked on seven points following the opening four matches of the season, it has certainly been a promising start by both and this makes this clash very intriguing.
Following the departure of Brendan Rodgers in the summer, a lot of people tipped Swansea to experience the dreaded second-season-syndrome. However, new manager Michael Laudrup has had a superb effect on the Liberty Stadium outfit and the club approach this clash sat in a hugely respectable 5th position. They are approaching this game on something of a downer though, having suffered a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa in their most recent game. However, prior to that their form had been exemplary and after scoring five against QPR and three against West Ham, it’s clear that Laudrup’s men don’t have any problems in front of goal and they’ll be hoping that normal service will be resumed when they return to the Liberty Stadium this weekend.
Everton also approach this game after something of a setback in their last clash, after seeing Newcastle score a late equaliser to steal three points from their grasp on Monday. The fact that the Toffees were denied at least one seemingly legal goal certainly angered David Moyes, especially as the club would have leapt into 3rd spot had they won. A victory against the Magpies would have been the perfect result for the Goodison Park outfit in another regard, after they were comfortably beaten by West Brom in the fixture prior to that.
Swansea could have something of an injury crisis ahead of this game, with the likes of Kyle Bartley, Garry Monk and Neil Taylor all set to miss the clash through injury. Moreover, it certainly doesn’t get any easier for Michael Laudrup, with Chico Flores missing the game through suspension while Ashley Williams is a huge doubt as he struggles with an ankle complaint. Everton approach the game in a similar position, with David Moyes not able to rely on Nikica Jelavic, Darron Gibson or Tony Hibbert as injuries hinder the trio.
With both of these outfits starting the campaign in such similar fashion, this is certainly one of the more difficult encounters of the weekend to predict. Even though Everton approach this game on the back of two disappointing results, we think they might have what it takes to grab all the points in Wales. Swansea may play pretty football, but David Moyes is a master tactician and we think he’ll definitely be able to mastermind a strategy to beat his opponents. With that, our prediction will be a 2-1 victory for the Toffees.