Preview: Swans v Everton
Swansea City will bid to strike a blow in the fight for Premier League survival when they take on Everton at the Liberty this afternoon (3pm).
The Swans were beaten by the Blues at Goodison Park in December despite going in front through Leroy Fer.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney replied for Everton on what ultimately was a dispiriting night for the Swans.
That defeat aside, the Swans have a decent record against Everton in recent seasons, having won three and drawn four of their last eight meetings with the Merseysiders.
After three away trips in their last four matches, Carlos Carvalhal’s men will be hoping home advantage proves decisive today.
It is six weeks since the Swans played a Premier League fixture on home turf, when West Ham were thumped 4-1.
That was the club’s fourth successive top-flight victory on their own patch.
They have not won five in a row in the highest division since John Toshack’s team achieved the feat in the opening stages of the 1981-82 campaign.
The Swans’ hopes of matching that sequence today are boosted by the return from suspension of Jordan Ayew.
The club’s 10-goal leading scorer has been an influential figure under Carvalhal, and the Portuguese will hope Ayew can make a difference having seen his team score only once in their last four matches.
Ninth-placed Everton, meantime, come in search of only their third away league triumph of the season at a ground where they last won thanks to Ross Barkley’s late goal in December 2013.
Jordan Ayew is back in the Swans squad having completed a three-match ban following his red card at Huddersfield.
Mike van der Hoorn and Sam Clucas also hope to feature despite injury concerns this week, while Angel Rangel is edging closer to full fitness.
Renato Sanches, Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony remain on the sidelines.
Everton will be without Swans old boy Gylfi Sigurdsson as well as James McCarthy and Eliaquim Mangala.
WHAT THEY SAID
Tammy Abraham: “We have everything to fight for. We are playing with confidence right now and we have to keep looking forward and not back.”
Federico Fernandez: “We have six cup finals and just need to keep going as we have been. It's about keeping our advantage and not thinking about other teams.”
Everton defender Phil Jagielka: “Hopefully we can build on (last weekend’s draw with Liverpool). It will be a tough trip to Swansea and we have to go there and not rest on our laurels.”
Last six meetings
18.12.17 Everton 3 Swans 1
6. 5. 17. Swans 1 Everton 0
19. 11. 16. Everton 1 Swans 1
24. 1. 16. Everton 1 Swans 2
19. 9. 15. Swans 0 Everton 0
11. 4. 15. Swans 1 Everton 1
1 – The Swans have lost only one of their last eight meetings with Everton, claiming victory three times in that sequence, having failed to win any of the two clubs’ first 20 encounters. The most recent success was courtesy of a Fernando Llorente goal at the back-end of last season.
11 – Everton have won 11 points on the road in the Premier League this season, which is one fewer than the Swans have managed.