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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Struggling Swans can boost their survival chances

Everton's poor away form looks set to continue

Swansea have lost just one of their last six home matches
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Premier League
BT Sport 1, 5.30pm Saturday

Only one of Swansea’s nine Premier League wins this season has been against top-eight opposition but they can add to that paltry return by seeing off Everton.

That 3-2 win at Liverpool in January was early in Paul Clement’s reign and began a resurgence which saw the Swans pull clear of danger.

A sorry run of a solitary point from six matches from mid-March onwards saw them plunge back into danger but a 2-0 win at Stoke and last week’s draw at Manchester United have given them some hope of staying up.

They now come up against an Everton team who have drawn five of their last eight away games and Swansea should be fancying their chances. They may just be worth a punt.

The point at Old Trafford wasn't a game-changer for Clement and his men but it was still a decent performance against a top-six outfit.

The front three, with Fernando Llorente the focal point, Jordan Ayew running the channels and Gylfi Sigurdsson pulling the strings, look a genuinely bright trio who will give any defence a workout. And Everton’s defence, marshalled by ex-Swans skipper Ashley Williams, can be exposed.

They are unbeaten in their last six matches against the Toffees in all competitions and can extend that sequence with a win.

What was letting Swansea down earlier in the season was an abomination of a defence who took risks and got exposed.

Lukasz Fabianski bailed them out time and again but suddenly things have clicked with just three goals conceded in their last four matches. That’s quite an improvement from a side who still boast the worst defensive record in the top division.

They have left it late but they can take heart from recent performances and Everton, who head for the Liberty with only vague hopes of a top-six finish and a lot of players absent, aren’t exactly on fire.

Well beaten by Chelsea last time, that was still an improvement on the preceding 0-0 draw at West Ham, a really drab game which was forgotten before it was finished.

That result summed up Everton’s away form – they have won only four of 17 matches on the road. That record is mirrored by Romelu Lukaku who has scored 15 goals for Everton since the turn of the year – just one has been away from Goodison Park.

They are winless in their last six away matches, though four of those have ended in draws.

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Team news
Fernando Llorente is expected to play after a stomach bug. Wingers Jefferson Montero, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer are out. Angel Rangel is a week away after a broken toe.

Morgan Schneiderlin, James McCarthy and Muhamed Besic are back in training after injuries but won’t play. Yanick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori, Seamus Coleman and Aaron Lennon are out.

Key stat
Everton have won only two of their last 15 away league games.

The point at Old Trafford wasn't a game-changer for Clement and his men but it was still a decent performance against a top-six outfit
E.W. Terms
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