Chelsea v Everton – Toffees time out
It’s more than 22 years since Everton won at Stamford Bridge and Toffees’ fans may already be bitter about the timing of this match given the champions’ recent revival.
The time to have played Chelsea was under Jose Mourinho because since the departure of the Portuguese the side that struggled so badly have been transformed and are once again eyeing a top four finish under interim-manager Guus Hiddink. Everton’s chances of managing a first league double over Chelsea since the 1978-79 season now look far less likely as Chelsea have not lost any of the nine EPL games since Hiddink took charge.
The Champions are 14th in the table and still have far to go and they will be without Eden Hazard and Radamel Falcao for the visit of Everton. Their absence will give Chelsea fans more reason for covetous glances at Everton’s Romelu Lukaku given the big Belgian’s recent run of form.
Lukaku was on loan at Everton from Chelsea before he was let go by Mourinho and his powerful, aggressive and potent performances remind many of Didier Drogba’s displays for the Blues.
But that’s why Chelsea splashed out on Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and their chances of securing a top four finish and qualification for the Champions League will depend largely on well how the lively striker can control his emotions for the rest of the campaign.
Costa has served several suspensions already this season but has looked (like a lot of other Chelsea stars) a man reborn following Mourinho’s sacking. However, summer signing Pedro continues with inconsistent form and that could cost the winger his place against Everton with young Brazil star Kenedy waiting for any chance to stake a place in the starting eleven.
TEAM FULL OF WINNERS
Everton boss Roberto Martinez commented on the strength of their squad, saying: “Chelsea are a team full of winning footballers. They won the league so the quality is there. They have players that can produce magic. “They have had a couple of very impressive performances under Guus Hiddink, and have shown plenty of fight.”
MADRID BANS RESONATE IN EPL
With transfer bans announced for both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid speculation has already began in earnest about the futures of some big name players as well the possibility of Atleti boss Diego Simeone making the move to Stamford Bridge. Both Madrid clubs have been hit with a transfer ban spanning two windows which will rule them put of moves for players in the summer and next January meaning the moves scheduled for then could be rushed forward.
Queue more headlines about David De Gea and Real Madrid with Gareth Bale supposedly moving the other way while Hazard and Costa could be making a quick exit to different parts of Madrid. How far this will affect their performance will be considered by the best online football tipsters who will wonder too about Everton’s John Stones and Lukaku – players both linked with big money moves to La Liga.
By: Joe Cahal