The Everton fans have been feeling relatively downbeat in the Transfer Tavern of late due to their side’s lacklustre form this season, but they are hoping they will have something to shout about after their clash against Swansea City tomorrow afternoon.
Sam Allardyce takes his side to Wales tomorrow to face Carlos Carvahal’s resurgent Swansea side at the Liberty Stadium. The Swans have not guaranteed their safety just yet, but they have made brilliant progress under their new manager since he took charge of the club at the end of 2017.
The Toffees have moved clear of the relegation zone and past the magic 40-point mark which notoriously promises Premier League survival in recent weeks, but unfortunately they have very little to play for aside from pride in their final 5 fixtures. With Burnley 8 points clear of Everton with a game in hand, it seems certain that European football will not be returning to the blue half of Merseyside next season.
However, the players owe it to their supporters to fight for as many points as possible during the final weeks of the season and, Wayne Rooney (valued at £10.8 million by Transfermarkt) will be emphasising that point to his fellow teammates ahead of their fixture tomorrow. The quality of Rooney’s performances in central midfield have been relatively mixed so far this season, but when he finds top form there’s no doubt that the players around him benefit from his tenacity and creativity in midfield.
Although Rooney reacted angrily to his substitution against Liverpool last weekend, Allardyce should start him tomorrow afternoon to prevent Swansea’s Tom Carroll from dominating the midfield. Carroll has been a first-team regular for Swansea this season whilst predominantly operating in centre midfield and, his combative performances have quietly played a key role in the Swans revival during 2018.
Carroll is not the most imposing of midfielders, but his natural work-rate combined with his guile and agility on the ball make him a nuisance for the opposition to handle at times. His opposite number tomorrow – presumably Wayne Rooney – certainly possesses more of a physical presence than Carroll and a stronger technical ability, but Carroll’s persistence and desire to recover possession could stifle Rooney’s attempts to dictate proceedings.
The individual battle between Rooney and Carroll will certainly be one to keep a close eye on tomorrow afternoon, as the winner could eventually inspire their side to claim all three-points.
Everton fans – thoughts? Let us know below!