Swansea City face off at Everton in this weekend’s Fifth Round FA Cup match. Neither team has been in very great form lately and both will be hoping to pick up a win to boost their confidence on Sunday.
The Toffees have been struggling to pick up points lately, especially against those teams that are above them in the Premier League table. With their midweek match against Crystal Palace postponed due to weather they have had the full week off to rest up for this weekend.
Playing at home will certainly benefit Everton considering their excellent form there, with just one loss this season in all competitions. Everton started their 2014 FA Cup campaign by defeating Queens Park Rangers 4-0 at home followed by their Fourth Round 4-0 away win against Stevenage.
Everton’s recent drop in form has coincided with having several key players out injured including Romelu Lukaku, Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson, Antolin Alcaraz, and Arouna Kone. There is the possibility of their new signing, Lacina Traore, making his debut. It was a bit surprising that he was not brought on in their recent loss to Tottenham and I wouldn’t be surprised if he started.
Swansea has had a difficult season, but the FA Cup has been one bright spot for them. They came through the third and fourth rounds by winning on the road with both matches ending 2-1. They first shocked Manchester United at Old Trafford and followed that up with a win over Birmingham City.
More recently they have had some ups and downs in the Premier League with two convincing wins as well as a very disappointing away loss to West Ham and an away draw to Stoke City. Their away form this season has been where they have struggled the most. They have amassed a 6-5-10 record on the road in all competitions this season.
The two bright spots going into this weekend include the difference that Garry Monk has made as manager as well as the possibility of Michu returning to the lineup. Even if he is only a substitute, it could be the difference in Swansea’s FA Cup season. They will be without Jonjo Shelvey who is still out injured.
My pick is an Everton win. Roberto Martinez will certainly be pushing his side to go far in the FA Cup considering his experience in the tournament last season. Everton’s home form has been tremendous and this is going to play a major factor in the match coupled with Swansea’s woeful away record.
Betting Odds (Bovada):
Everton win: 4/7; Draw: 11/4; Swansea win: 5/1
Recent Form: Everton (W, D, W, L, W, L) Swansea (L, W, W, L, W, D)
Prediction: Everton 2 – 1 Swansea City
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