Fresh off of a huge win against Chelsea, Everton are set to begin their busy week as they travel to Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea. Despite early season hiccups against Watford and Manchester City, this Everton squad appears to be firing on all cylinders. They will have a tough test as they face a tough Swansea team that has secured a draw against Chelsea and an impressive win against Manchester United.
Everton's defense will have their hands full this week as they face a Swansea attack that seems to get more dangerous as the weeks go on. With players like Bafetimbi Gomis, Andre Ayew and Jonjo Shelvey, Swansea have several options with which to put up points on their opponents. John Stones and Phil Jagielka will have to be on top of their game if they want to contain this dangerous offense. Seamus Coleman may be a game-time decision this week, which will add even more question marks to Everton's already suspect back four.
On the offensive side of the ball, Romelu Lukaku will be looking to get on the score sheet as he has been held without a goal in the last three games. Steven Naismith was able to pick up the scoring slack against Chelsea, but Everton will need their star striker at the top of his game moving forward if the team wants to compete for a top-five position. It will also be interesting to see what line-up and formation Roberto Martinez goes with this week. He has been surprisingly flexible with his tactics this season and hopefully the team has what it takes to crack the Swansea defense.
Swansea have been impressive so far this year in large part to Gomis and Ayew who have accounted for all but one of their goals this season. Ayew, who signed with the club this summer looks to be a particularly good signing as he has bagged three goals and an assist for Swansea. In midfield, Everton will have to contend with the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jonjo Shelvey and Jack Cork, all of whom have been integral to the Swans' success this season.
Everton look as though they may be getting closer to full health as Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo battle back from injury. The duo may have to wait until the Capital One Cup match against Reading to play, but it is promising to see both players make their way back into the squad. Seamus Coleman and Muhamed Besic may be game day descisions as they both picked up knocks against Chelsea. The usual suspects of Steven Pienaar, Tony Hibbert, Leighton Baines and Tom Cleverley continue to sit out due to long-term injuries.
Everton need to keep their momentum going and Swansea should prove to be a difficult test. Their squad has improved significantly over the past few years and will undoubtedly keep the Everton defense occupied. If Lukaku and company are able to get the offense rolling, then they may be able to grab a few points on the road.
Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Galloway; Barry, McCarthy, Mirallas, Barkley, Kone; Lukaku