July 11, 2015 - 3:00 p.m. BST, 10:00 a.m. EST
It seems a long time ago since the Toffees succumbed to defeat to a Harry Kane header on the final day of last season but finally the Blues are back in action.
It’s been a quiet summer for Everton, with signing three players who looked destined to be at the club for the 2015/16 season in David Henen, Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu but Roberto Martinez’s side will be looking to make a positive start to the campaign in preparation for the Barclays Asia Trophy next week.
How to watch
The club website is covering Everton’s pre-season campaign and any streaming of one match can be purchased for £3.99 or a ‘pre-season pass’ can be bought for £17.99 for streaming of the Blues’ entire pre-season fixture list.
Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson and Leighton Baines are all absent from the squad for the trip to Singapore and will subsequently miss today’s friendly. The notion has been that it has come just a fraction too soon for the three in their recoveries to full fitness.
A casualty from yesterday was Aiden McGeady, who has pulled out of the squad for today and next week with a hamstring injury and been replaced by U21 defender Jonjoe Kenny.
Manager Roberto Martinez has said the full squad will be used today, with most completing 45 minutes but Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway; who started pre-season early with the U21s could play a bit extra.
The Robins were founded in 1879 as Swindon AFC and became Swindon Town four years later. Mark Cooper’s side play at the County Ground in SkyBet League One and have been in the division since the 2012/13 season after Paulo Di Canio managed them to promotion from League Two.
Swindon finished fourth last season and beat Sheffield United over two legs to reach the play-off final against Preston North End. The second leg of that play-off semi-final against the Blades included an enthralling 5-5 draw. However Swindon couldn’t repeat that excitement in the final when they capitulated 4-0 to Preston.
What to Watch For
Substitutions. The thing most complained about during international periods that have friendlies is that the allowance of six substitutions for each team do not allow the game to flow. Well I’ve got news for everyone; there is no limit to the amount substitutions that can be used in this fixture!
This being the first game of the pre-season, it wouldn’t surprise if the entire eleven was changed at half-time – something which is often the case.
I would expect to see new signings Cleverley and Deulofeu at some stage and it’s always nice to blood a new face (in Cleverley) as early as possible and seeing the Spaniard in an Everton shirt again will give travelling Blues something to be excited.
The pace of former Tottenham Hotspur trainee Jonathan Obika upfront for Swindon could be something to watch out for from the opposition.
The Final Word
Having said that, despite the opposition, the result has no importance whatsoever. This game is all about fitness. The quicker the players regain their match sharpness after the summer break, the better and the quicker we can start focusing on performances and results, but for now the priority is solely fitness.