Swansea V Everton at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview

05 May 2017

Crystal Palace not out of relegation scrap just yet - Swansea boss Paul Clement

Swansea boss Paul Clement feels Crystal Palace could yet be dragged into the fight for Premier League survival.

With three games of the season remaining, Swansea and Hull appear locked in a battle over the final relegation spot with Middlesbrough set to join already-relegated Sunderland in the Sky Bet Championship next season.

But Clement feels Sam Allardyce's Palace - who are six points better off than the Swans with a far superior goal difference - are still in the relegation mix given their closing fixtures against Manchester City, Hull and Manchester United.

"Palace have more of a cushion than Hull have," Clement said ahead of Swansea's home game with Everton on Saturday.

"But the fact they have to play both Manchester teams and Hull at home as well puts an interesting twist on it.

"I look at Hull, our biggest rival, and their game against Sunderland on Saturday and it is difficult to know which way that will go.

"One team desperate for the points, the other one playing for pride at the end of the season.

"Then they have a really tough game away to Crystal Palace and another one against Tottenham on the final day.

"There are a lot of possibilities, but we are just focusing on beating Everton and keeping the pressure right on Hull."

Swansea seemed to be sliding towards the relegation trapdoor after going six games without a win in March and April, five of which were defeats.

But a 2-0 home victory over Stoke and a 1-1 draw at Manchester United last weekend has encouraged the Swans ahead of closing games against Everton, Sunderland and West Brom.

"We have played well in the last two games and we go into the Everton game with a lot of confidence," Clement said.

"I would like us to be in a better position, but because I feel so confident in the way the team are playing I would take it going to the last day now.

"To have to win on the last day and stay in the league, I would take that, but our target is to win our last three games."

Fernando Llorente has recovered from a stomach bug and will feature, but Wayne Routledge (hernia) and Angel Rangel (foot) remain out.

Jefferson Montero (hamstring) is unlikely to play again this season.

Everton boss Ronald Koeman, meanwhile, has warned his players they face being dropped if they think they can coast until the end of the season.

The Toffees have already wrapped up seventh place in the Premier League but the chances of overtaking Arsenal, who they play on the final day of the campaign, appear unlikely as the sixth-placed Gunners are two points ahead with two matches in hand.

"Sometimes it is difficult because everyone starts to have the holiday feeling because we are already seventh in the table, but then you need to take the motivation out of yourself," he said.

"We try to speak to the players to have the type of training sessions which keep the focus for the weekend.

"If I see someone (doing something) on the pitch that is not what I like or what I expect, I can change three players."

Morgan Schneiderlin, who missed last weekend's defeat to Chelsea with a thigh injury sustained in training, will not be fit for the trip.

James McCarthy (hamstring) is edging closer to a return but Saturday is too early. Fellow midfielder Muhamed Besic (knee) may yet feature before the end of the season, while winger Aaron Lennon is absent with a stress-related illness.