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Premier League

  • March 22, 2014
  • • 23:00
  • • Goodison Park, Liverpool
  • Referee: M. Oliver
  • • Attendance: 36260
3
FT
2

Ladbrokes PaddyPower WilliamHill Tipico
Everton 1.65 1.70 1.57 1.70
Draw 3.80 3.60 4.00 3.70
Swansea City 5.50 5.50 5.50 5.50
Everton - Swansea City Preview: Monk hopeful of Michu return

Everton - Swansea City Preview: Monk hopeful of Michu return

The Spain international has struggled with an ankle injury this season, but the forward was on the substitute's bench for the 2-1 defeat to West Brom last weekend

Swansea City forward Michu could make his first Premier League start in over three months at Everton on Saturday.

The Spaniard, who found the net 18 times in the league last term, has been sidelined with an ankle injury since mid-December, but came off the bench as Garry Monk's men suffered a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to West Brom last weekend.

EVERTON LATEST
80/1 Michu is 80/1 with Paddy Power to score first but Everton win 2-1
That result left Swansea without a win in seven matches in all competitions and head coach Monk's only victory in charge remains his opening-game triumph over rivals Cardiff City.

Monk will need to break new ground if Swansea are to record a much-needed win, as the Welsh club have never beaten Everton.

Michu would be one of a number of crucial returnees in the Swansea XI, with Jonjo Shelvey [hamstring] and Nathan Dyer [foot] also back in contention for a start, but Monk conceded that he would have a tough decision to make about whether to play the 27-year-old striker.

"We have to be careful throwing Michu straight back in," he said. "Every player will say 'I'm ready' but he's not had a lot of game time and it's a case of building him up.

"It's unfair to put too much pressure on him. We haven't got too much time but it's important we don't rush him either, we can't afford for him injured to be again."

Seamus Coleman netted a last-gasp winner to sink Swansea's foes Cardiff at Goodison Park last weekend, but speculation surrounding the Irishman's future will have come as an unwanted distraction for Roberto Martinez's Europe-chasing charges.

Everton are two points adrift of fifth-placed Tottenham with two games in hand, making a Europa League berth for next season look likely, and have lost just once at home in the past 15 months in the Premier League.

The Merseysiders have taken the spoils in both previous meetings between the sides this season, claiming a 2-1 win at Swansea in the league before triumphing 3-1 on home soil in the FA Cup fifth round.

Monk replaced Martinez as Swansea captain in 2006, before serving as skipper under the Spaniard during his time in charge at the Liberty, and Martinez is confident that his former club are in no danger of being relegated to the Championship.

"I'll always have special affection and special memories and I want Swansea to do really really well," he said. "They'll be fine at the end of the season, the club's philosophy will give them great success.

"I've been very impressed with Garry Monk, it would be a big mistake to try and assess his time just by the results."

Phil Jagielka [hamstring] faces a late fitness test ahead, while Steven Pienaar will miss out with a knee problem. In addition, Martinez believes Lacina Traore [hamstring] will play again before the end of the season.

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Head to Head
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Mar 22, 2014 Everton 3 - Swansea City 2
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England - FA Cup ‎(FA)‎ Feb 16, 2014 Everton 3 - Swansea City 1
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Dec 23, 2013 Swansea City 1 - Everton 2
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Jan 12, 2013 Everton 0 - Swansea City 0
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England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Sep 22, 2012 Swansea City 0 - Everton 3
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Returns: Everton 16.50 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Returns: Draw 38.00 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Returns: Swansea City 55.00 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Team News
Available Squads
24Tim HowardGoalkeeper
3Leighton BainesDefender
15Sylvain DistinDefender
23Seamus ColemanDefender
26John StonesDefender
7Aiden McGeadyMidfielder
16James McCarthyMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
20Ross BarkleyMidfielder
11Kevin MirallasStriker
17Romelu LukakuStriker
1JoelGoalkeeper
29Luke GarbuttDefender
32Antolín AlcarazDefender
36Tyias BrowningDefender
21Leon OsmanMidfielder
-Gerard DeulofeuStriker
14Steven NaismithStriker
1Michel VormGoalkeeper
4ChicoDefender
6Ashley WilliamsDefender
22Ángel RangelDefender
33Ben DaviesDefender
7Leon BrittonMidfielder
-Pablo HernándezMidfielder
12Nathan DyerMidfielder
15Wayne RoutledgeMidfielder
-José CañasStriker
10Wilfried BonyStriker
25Gerhard TremmelGoalkeeper
2Jordi AmatDefender
3Neil TaylorDefender
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
5MichuMidfielder
33Jonathan De GuzmánMidfielder
25Roland LamahMidfielder

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