A week after beating Man Utd 2-1, Swansea City suffered the frustration of losing 1-0 away to newly promoted Watford. In what should have been three points for Swansea, it instead transpired that the Swans were unable to score past the ten men of Watford. Next up, it is time to face Everton back in Wales.
Roberto Martínez deserves every plaudit for inspiring his Everton team to frustrate Chelsea on every level and win the game 3-1 despite giving up approximately 60% of possession. Everton had not been expected to win, but standout performances from Ross Barkley, John Stones, and hat-trick hero Steven Naismith led them to victory.
Although Everton edge it for their individual talents, both of these sides are quite evenly matched. Swansea’s strategy is one that will see them play with discipline as they try to control a healthy share of possession and carve out a few good opportunities.
Swansea can be extremely tough to play against in defence and midfield, but they can struggle to create chances at times. Gylfi Sigurdsson and André Ayew have to do their utmost to create opportunities for Bafétimbi Gomis. Of course, it will be a challenge in attempting to outduel John Stones.
Stones began the season feeling unsettled in the wake of a £40 million Chelsea transfer that never materialised. However, he has displayed a wonderful attitude in delivering an immense performance against the powerful Diego Costa last Saturday. The form of Stones will make it tough for Swansea to reach Gomis.
Ross Barkley is back to the promising player he was two seasons ago. Last season, he was injured for a couple of long spells and was disappointing when he was playing. Now, though, Barkley is disrupting the play of his opponents, while also linking creatively with his striker. Barkley can make that happen again versus Swansea.
Tip one: Draw @ 3.25
Tip two: Under 2.5 goals @ 1.80
Swansea’s ability to defend could limit the scoring to under 2.5 goals, which would raise the possibility of a draw between these sides that are eager to maintain form.