Mar 22, 2014 at 3pm UK at ​Goodison Park
Everton
3-2
SwanseaSwansea City
Baines (19' pen.), Lukaku (53'), Barkley (58')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Bony (33'), Williams (92')

Preview: Everton vs. Swansea City

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Everton and Swansea at Goodison Park as the Toffees look to improve their chances of European qualification.

Everton will be aiming to boost their hopes of European qualification with a second consecutive win against South Wales opposition when Swansea City visit on Saturday.

Last weekend, Seamus Coleman struck in stoppage time to earn the Toffees a 2-1 win over Cardiff City, which saw them climb to sixth in the Premier League table.

Roberto Martinez's side have games in hand on the teams around them, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, and will go above fifth-placed Spurs with victory over the Swans.

Everton have only lost once at Goodison Park this season and with Swansea winless in four games and without league success on the road since November, there is room for the Merseysiders to be optimistic.

Loan striker Lacina Traore, who has yet to play a top-flight game since arriving from Monaco, is "ahead of schedule" in his recovery from a hamstring problem, but is not expected to be fit until late April.

Steven Pienaar has a knee injury and is another who faces several more weeks on the sidelines, while Arouna Kone, Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo all remain long-term absentees.

Phil Jagielka could be back to captain the side in central defence after missing their last four matches. Both he and Gareth Barry, who has a slight calf strain, face late fitness tests ahead of this weekend.

England World Cup hopeful Ross Barkley will likely have to settle for a place on the bench, but another bright young talent, Gerard Deulofeu, should be maintained in the starting XI after scoring against Cardiff.

Swansea manager Garry Monk has stressed that it would be asking a lot of star striker Michu to fire them away from relegation trouble upon his recent return from a three-month layoff.

Their 22-goal top goalscorer from last season made a 30-minute cameo appearance in the 2-1 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion last Saturday, which leaves the Welsh outfit only four points above safety.

Thus, Monk is unlikely to throw Michu into his starting XI at Everton and so Wilfried Bony will continue to operate alone up front, with support coming from wingers Roland Lamah and Wayne Routledge.

Nathan Dyer may be fit to feature as a substitute, but Jonjo Shelvey and Kyle Bartley are definitely out for the Swans, who are also missing centre-back Chico as he continues to serve a suspension.

Recent form

Everton: WLWLWL

Swansea: LDLLDL

Possible starting lineups

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Barry, McCarthy; Deulofeu, Osman, Mirallas; Lukaku

Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies; Canas, Britton, De Guzman; Lamah, Routledge; Bony

Sports Mole says: 2-0

Cardiff City player Steven Caulker celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier league match between Cardiff City and Fulham at Cardiff City Stadium on March 8, 2014
Read Next:
Preview: Everton vs. Cardiff
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16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2458111733-1623
17Stoke CityStoke2465132550-2523
18Southampton2349102334-1121
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom24311101931-1220
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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