Swansea V Everton: Tactical Match Preview

    The first of five games in one fortnight sees the Blues heading down to the Liberty Stadium, to take on Michael Laudrup’s Swansea side. Martinezhas a poor record against his former team, with 3 defeats and 1 draw. Everton however have a similar record but in a positive manner, with 3 wins and 1 draw.

    The Teams


    It was great to see that even when not playing at their best, Everton swept Fulham aside and cruised to a 4-1 win. The unbeaten game streak continues and with this game leading into a flurry of quick games, it will be vital to pick up a point or more on the road. In the win over Fulham,Osman replaced the suspended McCarthy and more notably Deulofeu came in to replace Mirallas. As we unfortunately saw, Gerard picked up an injury that will keep him out for up to five weeks.

    This leads to a fairly predictable line up. The Blues have made just 16 changes to the starting line-up all season, the fewest of all teams in the Prem. Mirallas will come in for Deulofeu, and it is likely that McCarthy, the player of the month, will be back in the side at the expense of Osman. The only surprise that Martinez might sway in with, is the possibility of Osman as part of the attacking three behind Lukaku.

    Expected Team:


    The Swans have maintained their solid mid-table mediocrity this season, lying in 10th place for the Christmas period. Their performances this season have been very inconsistent and they haven’t been able to put any sort of momentum run together. This could be down to the aged old debate of whether the Europa League is a good or bad distraction.

    Squad wise, the hosts were hit with two terrible pieces of luck this week. Nathan Dyer damaged his ankle ligaments in the draw against Norwich, and it has come to light that Goalkeeper Vorm can’t make it through the January period and needs an operation on his knee. The bright side is the likely return of central defender Chico Flores and midfielder Leon Britton. Chico is likely to be thrown straight in if he is available, although Spanish U-21 Jordi Amat has done well when needing to cover. Angel Rangel picked up his fifth yellow card of the season against the Canaries and will miss the visit of the Blues through suspension.

    Expected team:


    Who will win the passinh?

    It is well known within the game that Swansea and Everton are two of the better ‘footballing’ sides in the Premier League. It’s Swansea that lead these figures overall and at home, having an average of 62% share of the ball at the Liberty. They also have a marginally better pass completion rate than Man City in home games, shading it by just 0.3% (87.3% total). Does this mean that Swansea are definitely going to boss the game then? Well, no. Everton are second in the figures of average possession away from home (behind Man City), posting an average of 58.5% share of the ball. 84.8% of passes are completed by Martinez‘ away side.

    Does the possession even matter?

    With both team’s philosophies, defensively they are strong in their respective home and away games. Swansea are in the top five teams to restrict the amount of shots that away sides have. Everton however are only beaten by Manchester City in the amount of shots conceded by away teams. In regards to attacking, Swansea’s passing mentality leads to them only having an mediocre record of 14 shots per game. This leads to a fairly poor home record, only winning two games so far (W2, D4, L2). Everton‘s possession dominance away from home puts them in a strong attacking position, having an average of 13 shots per game, which is in the top five of teams in the league. So does the passing matter? Kind of.

    Key Area

    Does this need to be explained? Have you just read the last two sections? Both teams want to dominate the midfield and so far do not have a lot of experience without the ball. The match ups between Shelvey and Cañas versus Barry and McCarthy will be very interesting. The winning pair are likely to have a big outcome on the winner of the match.

    The one without the stats

    I, and many Evertonians, have seen how to beat Swansea over the past couple of years. Push them high, don’t let their midfielders have the ball and they don’t know how to respond. The same could be said about Everton under Martinez now, however in recent weeks this has been attempted but overcome by the men in Blue.


    With both records of Martinez and Everton against Swansea, it’s hard to tell how this game will go. Both teams will certainly want the ball played on the floor and this should make for an easy to watch game. There could be disruptions by referee tit Lee Mason, who can’t wait to put that whistle in between his fat lips and blow a big annoying high pitched noise to let everyone know he’s still there. While Evertonians are going faint with positivity and see nothing but a win, a point would be a good point here and would see us continue unbeaten with two home games to come. COYB.

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    1. We should hoof a few up to their back four and suprise them….Lukaku running on to the loose ball that comes off Barkley’s shins. Easy 2-0 win if we do that!


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