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Premier League preview: Everton v Swansea

Goodison Park plays host to one of the best match-ups of the Premier League weekend on Saturday when Everton face Swansea.

Everton are up to fifth on the league table having lost just one of their past nine matches in England’s top flight.

That run has included wins over Tottenham, West Ham, Newcastle and Wigan as well as draws against Manchester City, Arsenal, Stoke and Norwich.

And when their brutal 5-1 dismantling of League Two side Cheltenham in the FA Cup on Monday is also taken into account, Everton head into their meeting with the Welsh outfit brimming with confidence.

But Swansea, who are ninth in the Premier League, are also enjoying a purple patch of form which has seen them put together a six-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Their most recent result, an upset 2-0 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final, was the pick of the bunch.

And the Swans will be keen to buck their dismal record against Everton which has seen them fail to beat the Toffees in any of their seven previous meetings dating back to 1981.

In fact, the best result Swansea have ever achieved against Everton was a 2-2 draw in 1983 with the other six encounters all ending in losses.

They may be hard-pressed to make history on Saturday given the mood among the Everton playing group is buoyant heading into the clash, according to Toffees midfielder Leon Osman.

“No one wanted to be rested for the Cheltenham game. We all want to play in every single game, and with one a week for the foreseeable future, there should not be any qualms about being tired or unfit,” Osman said.

And Osman has even more motivation to secure all three points against Swansea, given the match marks a special occasion for the 31-year-old.

“It will be 10 years to the day since my Everton debut when we face Swansea on Saturday, and it would be great to mark that by making this the season we win a trophy,” Osman said.

“We have had some good teams over the years, but, with the football we are playing at the moment and the games we are winning, I would have to say this is the best.

“We’ve got a bit of variety to our game. We pass, but we are happy to go direct as well and mix the game up.”

Thu 10 January, 2013
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