Over the last few weeks this match has taken on something of a different dimension, with Swansea’s change of manager prompting all sorts of chaos. Garry Monk is currently in charge of the Swans and quite poetically, this is a man who played under Everton boss Roberto Martinez when he first started out at the Liberty Stadium several years ago.
However, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and Martinez will be desperate to get one over on the club that he achieved his early success with. Something else that the Toffees boss will be keen to do is improve his side’s recent form, with the club losing two of their last three games prior to this. This has seen them drop down into 6th spot and a top four finish looks somewhat unlikely, with eight points currently keeping them from Liverpool. Nevertheless, we mustn’t forget the fortress that is Goodison Park and with Martinez’s side winning their last four at home, the omens still look good for them to put their troubles behind them and record a positive result over their Welsh opponents.
It feels like only yesterday that Garry Monk was a regular in Swansea’s starting eleven, but a combination of age and injuries means that he is surely setting his sights on a backroom role. Whether or not he will get the permanent job as manager will be interesting, particularly as he was following in the footsteps of such an experienced man in Michael Laudrup. He has certainly made a positive start to his Swans career in the hot seat though, having masterminded four points from his opening two games. Such results come off the back of a run which saw predecessor Laudrup collect just one win from ten matches.
As for team news, Everton fans must be eagerly anticipating the debut of Lacina Traore who has finally shaken off his fitness complaints and looks set for a start. However, it’s not all good news for Roberto Martinez, with Antolin Alcaraz and Romelu Lukaku both still on the treatment table and set to miss out. Swansea might also have a boost in the strikers department, with Michu poised for his first start in over two months following surgery. Again, bad news balances it all out though, with Marvin Emnes and David Ngog both unavailable due to ineligibility.
In terms of a prediction, we think Everton will just about ease through. Even though the Toffees haven’t really been playing their best football over the past couple of weeks, they armed with the home advantage and this will count for everything as other fixtures have proved. Therefore, our tip will be a 2-1 victory for the Merseyside outfit.