April 09, 2015

Two evenly matched sides face each other on Saturday when Swansea City entertain Everton at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans (2-2-1) have made a steady start to the campaign and sit in eighth place on eight points.

After two wins and two draws, Swansea suffered their first league defeat of the season with a 1-0 loss at newly promoted Watford last Saturday.

Odion Ighalo scored the second-half winner for the Hornets, who had Valon Behrami was sent off just past the hour mark for violent conduct.

Swansea manager Garry Monk is confident his side will bounce back from the defeat at Vicarage Road.

"You're disappointed to lose any game, but we didn't reach the levels we wanted to last weekend," Monk told his club's official website. "We lost focus a little bit from what we are good at and didn't execute our game plan.

"But the players have been excellent this week. They're responded well in training and we want to give a positive reaction against Everton."

The Toffees (2-2-1) have an almost identical record to Swansea in Premier League action this term, with eight points from five games. The Merseysiders are one place above the Swans in seventh on goal difference only.

Steven Naismith scored a hat trick as Everton beat defending Premier League champions Chelsea 3-1 at Goodison Park last weekend. Substitute Naismith came on for the injured Muhamed Besic early and tallied in the 17th, 22nd and 82nd minutes.

Scotland international Naismith's treble impressed Everton manager Roberto Martinez.

"It was a quality hat trick - one of those hat tricks that will be showed to youngsters so that they aspire to one day be able to achieve that," Martinez told his club website. "The clinical finishing is what impressed me most but the movement and the intelligence in finding how to break the back four down was also a big example of what Steven Naismith is as a footballer."

England defender Phil Jagielka is poised to play his 300th game for Everton and is expected to reach that milestone this weekend.

"It'd feel very good," the 33-year-old Jagielka told his club's official website. "It's not something I look too much into at the moment but playing that many games for Everton is something I'm proud of and to be captain during part of that is a fantastic highlight."

Jagielka, who joined Everton in 2007 from Sheffield United, will become the 38th player to make 300 appearances for the Toffees.

Swansea have reported no fresh injury concerns and Monk has a fully fit squad to pick from.

Everton defender Seamus Coleman is doubtful with a hamstring problem and deadline day signing Ramiro Funes Mori is standing by to make his first start for the Toffees.

The sides drew both league meetings last season, including a 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium in April. Aaron Lennon put the Toffees in front after 41 minutes, but Jonjo Shelvey equalised from the spot 20 minutes from time. The sides played out a goalless draw at Goodison Park in November, with the Swans playing the final 18 minutes with 10 men after Shelvey was sent off.

Swansea knocked Everton out of the League Cup last season, winning 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium in September 2014. Nathan Dyer, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Marvin Emnes got the goals for the Swans.

The Toffees have dominated the Swans in the Premier League, winning five times and drawing the other three by a combined 12-4 margin.

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