Swansea City-Everton Preview
Swansea City find themselves hovering precariously above the drop zone but former boss Roberto Martinez remains wary of the club’s free-flowing football ahead of the Swans’ visit to face Everton at Goodison Park.
Everton have won 14 of the 19 league and cup matches played between the sides – with the other five games ending as draws.
Martinez, who managed the Swans from 2007-09, inflicted the latest defeat as the Toffees won 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Dec. 22. The Everton boss expects a strong challenge from the visitors, who have completed over 12,000 passes to rank second in the league behind Arsenal.
"We have learnt that Swansea will never change their football philosophy," Martinez told Everton’s official website. "That’s been a success over the years.
"They are a team that can cope with any environment in the league, keep the ball really well and master possession. In that respect, it makes games against them really difficult."
The Swans are in 14th place on 29 points – four ahead of Sunderland and Cardiff City in the relegation zone.
"I don’t enjoy being in this position but I think destiny is in our hands and I think we’re working really hard to put things right on the training pitch every single day," captain Ashley Williams said. "We’re doing a lot of meetings, we’re doing a lot of talking, we are working towards it and you do get the feeling that OK, some things aren’t right, but at some point it’s going to click and you’ve got to hope that’s sooner rather than later."
Swansea City have two draws and two defeats in their last four matches ahead of a difficult four days that includes Tuesday’s trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal.
"I believe we’ve got enough in our squad to get wins at both stadiums so why not?" Williams said. "We’ve just got to go there with the mentality that we can do that, which I think we will."
The Swans will receive a boost if Michu can make his first start since Dec. 15. The Spanish striker came on for 27 minutes in last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in his first action after a three-month absence due to an ankle injury.
Michu’s presence would take pressure off Wilfried Bony, who has scored nine league goals.
Garry Monk’s side will also have another Spaniard back, with defender Chico Flores returning from suspension. Chico is second in the Premier League in completed passes (1,350) with Williams third (1,301).
Martinez’s side have 51 points – two fewer than fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the race for Europa League football. The Toffees have played two less matches.
Everton have 10 wins, one defeat and three draws at home in the league and will look for maximum points ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Newcastle United.
"I think the team is ready now to play games in a short space of time," Martinez said. "Physically we have got good numbers and good options.
"We need to use them well but to be successful in this period is to take every day as it comes and every game on an individual matter."