Swansea Focus - Jacks looking to bounce back against Everton
Michael Laudrup’s Swansea will be looking to forget their 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa with a home victory over visiting Everton. Both the Merseysiders and the Jacks have been flying high so far this season, with Saturday’s contest set to be a tight one.
The biggest concern for Laudrup will undoubtedly be his side’s recent flurry of injuries, Neil Taylor has been ruled out for the season with a broken ankle, while Kyle Bartley and Garry Monk are both unfit, with the former suffering from a thigh injury and the latter a back problem.
Star defender Ashley Williams is the latest Swansea player to become a doubt ahead of the weekend’s Premier League clash. The Wales international is struggling with an ankle problem, a niggle that has developed over the last few weeks but is likely to have culminated in Wales’ embarrassing 6-1 defeat against Serbia last week.
Alan Tate and Ben Davies are both likely to step in to fill some gaps on Saturday afternoon, while Kemy Augsten is unlikely to fill Williams’ role after recently coming down with a calf injury.
Laudrup is hoping his captain will recover in time for Saturday’s game, telling Sky Sports: "He has had a difficult week and has not been able to do much because of his ankle, but he will hopefully be fit. It is important for us that our captain is there.”
The former Denmark international has defended Williams, denying that the Welshman’s poor form as of late might result in the loss of his captaincy at the Liberty Stadium outfit.
"He had made mistakes but players are allowed to make mistakes and are permitted to have bad games because the important thing is that they give their all and they play in the way we want them to.” Laudrup added: “Mistakes can happen."
The club woke up to more bad news during the week, when it emerged that former chairman Malcolm Struel has passed away aged 78. He is famous for leading the Swans from 1971 to 1983, a period that saw the Jacks play Fourth Division and top-flight football all in a period of a few years. Current chairman Huw Jenkins has publicly expressed his sadness for Struel’s passing this week, and there will likely be a minute of silence to remember him before Saturday’s game against Everton at the Liberty Stadium.
The Jack’s next game will surely prove to be a difficult one, but is certain to have an affect on the rest of their season. Triumphing over an in-form Everton, who beat Manchester United at home in their first game of the campaign, will prove that the Welsh outfit have what it takes to compete at a mid-table Premier League club.
A repeat of their 2-0 home loss to the Toffees last time round will undoubtedly raise doubts over the club’s ambitions come the end of the season, with many fans deeming just staying up not an option following their impressive 11th place finish last May.
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