WILLIE DUNCAN (@Willie_Duncan) previews Saturday’s contest between Swansea and Everton.
Swansea v Everton | Saturday 17:30 | BT Sport
We’re definitely approaching the part of the season that Sir Alex Ferguson coined “squeaky bum time”. It’s not difficult to imagine that there are a few squeaky bums in Wales as Swansea strive to secure their Premier League status.
Paul Clement’s charges are two points behind Hull with just three games left and, given that the Tigers – unbeaten at KCOM Stadium under the stewardship of Marco Silva – host already relegated Sunderland, it’s not unreasonable to suggest that the gap could be five points by kick-off.
Such a scenario would leave the Swans teetering on the brink and, irrespective of what happens in Humberside, it will be fascinating to see what Clement’s charges have got left in the tank.
Recent signs have been relatively encouraging; Swansea have avoided being beaten in five of their last six home matches, while Gylfi Sigurdsson secured his side a precious point against Manchester United last weekend with a superb second half free-kick.
Everton awful away
Everton got a bit of a battering from Chelsea last weekend, losing 3-0 at Goodison Park and, having conceded eight goals without reply in two league games against the Blues this season, Koeman and his men will probably be mighty relieved that they will not face Antonio Conte’s men again.
That result against Chelsea, though, was the exception to the rule of the season so far; Everton have been pretty good at Goodison Park, but their away form has been awful.
The Toffees have failed to win any of their last six matches away from home – had they taken full points from a couple of those games, they would have stood a very realistic chance of breaking into the top four and qualifying for the Champions League.
The betting angle
Swansea, however, will be hoping to add to Everton’s away-day misery this weekend and, with Clement’s men fighting to preserve their Premier League place, there will be no shortage of takers for the 7/4 quote on offer for a home win.
However, this has plenty of potential to be a tight, scrappy game; there have been fewer than three goals scored in all but one of the Swans’ last seven games, while the Toffees, often in free-scoring form on their own patch, have managed more than a single goal in just one of their last seven away games in the league.
The 51/50 (Marathon) quote for fewer than three goals to be scored, therefore, could offer good value for punters ahead of this crucial clash.
Swansea v Everton – Under 2.5 Goals (51/50 Marathon)
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