Oh dear. After a game too appalling for words on Sunday we’re right back to it with a League Cup tie against Swansea City. Can the team put the Crystal Palace game behind them?The Everton manager is always keen to show that he takes each game as an opportunity on a path to winning something and the League Cup is generally thought of as the easiest competition to win.Sadly Everton’s record is appalling.Apart from one semi final defeat to Chelsea the competition has been a dead loss for the club.
Expect changes. Big changes. With both eyes on the derby at the weekend. You have to admire Roberto Martinez for trying to keep the majority of the team intact but in hindsight resting the three attacking midfield players was a huge mistake. On the plus side it’s great to see Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone back, but they won’t start. Instead expect to see Muhamed Besic, Steven Naismith, Antolin Alcaraz, and possibly Ty Browning get a run out. Oh and Joel Robles will be playing his customary cup game.
For Swansea Wilfred Bony is suspended, which is good news, but on the flip side Bafetimbi Gomis is likely to start in his place, and he can be a player. Plus they have a host of new signings fit to play, including Marvin Emnes.
What to watch for
A reaction. With the highs of the win over Wolfsburg in the distant past, the team need to show the fans that the Palace result was a one off. Swansea have showed in their start that they’re not a team to be taken lightly, but you get the sense they’ve been over performing. How the Everton team react to setbacks like Sunday will be telling in judging how far, or not, the team can go this season.
Attack, attack, attack. Pass, pass, pass. Both teams like to play attacking football based on a possession based game plan. You sense this might play into Everton’s hands as they generally struggle more against teams that set up to play on the counter. At least it should be entertaining.
Former teammates. Roberto Martinez and Garry Monk played together for the Swans before the Spaniard made his step into management. It’s taken Monk some time to follow him but this season he’s started to look more at home and the team are playing more in his style.
The battle for midfield. With either James McCarthy ot Gareth Barry due for a rest Everton will be using an untested midfield five. And they’ll be up against a talented Swansea version, with Nathan Dyer and Gylfi Sigurdsson in good form. Each team’s ability to stem the flow from the midfield area will be decisive in the result.
This is the first time the teams have ever faced each other in the League Cup.
Swansea have never beaten Everton (20 games and counting).
Everton have a terrible recent record in the League Cup, going out in the Third Round in three of the last four years.
Leighton Baines successful penalty on Sunday made it 15 out of 15.
Everton’s defence is the second worst in the top five European leagues (Spain, France, Germany, Italy, England).