So a new look Everton side is facing a revamped Jose Mourinho side in what looks like an extremely tough match for the Merseysiders. Chelsea’s attacking options are boosted by the signing of the evergreen Samuel Eto’o.
I’ll put this down on paper now, that both line ups could be extremely different to what I put here. Juan Mata who I class as one of the best in the league, doesn’t looked to be fancied by Mourinho and Eden Hazard may not be fit to start – Even though it’s being reported that he is.
For Everton, Roberto Martinez has options all over the field, but new signing Romelu Lukaku can’t play against the club that loaned him. In midfield we actually have options for once.
If Lampard plays, he will score. He always scores. I think he will be sub though after his “exertions” with England.
Come and have your say in our match thread at http://www.theevertonforum.co.uk/everton-forum/8298-everton-v-chelsea.html
So on to the head to head.
Tim Howard, despite what a lot of Everton fans will say is actually a very good goalkeeper. The problem is that his predecessors were the excellent Nigel Martyn and the even better Neville Southall. They are tough gloves to fill. That said, Howard, despite the odd lapse in concentration is a really good keeper who can pull off the most outstanding saves possible.
His opposite number Petr Cech has probably been the outstanding keeper in the Premier League in the last decade. When he joined Chelsea he proved his worth and then after his injury against Reading went through a rocky spell. He goes about his business without a lot of fuss and often opposition fans don’t realise just how good he actually is. He is still the best keeper in the Prem.
Howard 8 v Cech 9
Seamus has without doubt been Evertons most improved player in the last 12-18 months. He really is becoming a fine player. Considering he didn’t take up football full time until he was 18, he shows an fine understanding of the game and how it should be played. He is still very raw though, as can be expected. That said, he is positioning himself to become the best right back in the Premier League, especially if he can carry his form on. He is excellent at running with the ball and taking a man on and he is starting to improve the defensive side of his game.
Ivanovic really should be a centre back. He’s a big lad. He does an excellent job at right back though and with John Terry being back in the picture, Ivan is likely to play at RB again. He is dangerous from set pieces and he also gets forward well. He will be a threat if we let him. He is also a very good defender.
Ivanovic is a tasty player
Coleman 8 v Ivanovic 8.5
Jags seems to be a media scape goat when he plays for England, despite not really having time to settle in with his opposition counterpart Gary Cahill. Jags is a typical English centre half though and at Premier League level he is one of the best. He has consistently been a part of one of the best defences in English Football.
Cahill is very similar to Jags and is definitely a threat from set pieces as he showed when playing against us for Aston Villa with an outstanding overhead kick. He is a better footballer than Jags, but probably not as good a defender. He has formed a good partnership with whichever player he has played with in the Chelsea backline though.
Jagielka 8 v Cahill 8
Like the energiser bunny, the Milkman, just seems to go on and on. Being a top shagger must help him perform on the pitch too. Distin is still an excellent defender and doesn’t look to have lost any pace despite being 36. Him and John Terry are definitely still doing it for the old bastards out there.
Another top shagger, JT is definitely the one that Jose trusts to provide a solid base for the attacking flair that Chelsea provide. He isn’t everyones cup of tea and like Distin his best days are probably behind him, but he is still an excellent defender. He has struggled against us in the air in the past, but with Martinez this is unlikely to happen again. I think Pace may be the key to getting past Terry on this occasion.
Terry gets everywhere
Distin 7.5 Terry 8.5
Baines is another that is up against is England opposition. Personally I think Baines is different class. Ashley Cole is a very good player, but I think that Baines has been the best left back in the league over the last 3 season. It is very tight and I may be speaking with blue tinted specs on, but Baines wins this just for me. Cole is probably a better defender, but Baines is still good and excels when going forward.
The man that messed up with Cheryl Cole with a hairdresser. It’s clear that Cashley isn’t the most intelligent man in the world. He is still a fine footballer though and this one is certainly a very close call. Definitely the best left back in the Premier League over the last decade, but probably not over the last 3 years.
Baines 9 v Cole 8.5
McCarthy is the replacement for Mr Fellaini that joined those that shouldn’t be mentioned. It probably isn’t fair calling him a replacement, as they are completely different players. McCarthy will link the play up quick and look to burst forward to join the attack. He does the simple stuff really well and joining a big club should really help him improve as a player. He will go on to become a top player. Difficult first match though.
McCarthy could make his debut
The bloke never stops running. It took him a while to adapt to the premier league and he looked rubbish when he first joined, but once he settled in you could see he was a bloomin good player. He is the type of player that home fans love, because he just doesn’t stop working for the team. If anyone will come from deep to score in this match after running the full length of the pitch, it will be Ramires.
McCarthy 7.5 v Ramires 8
Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne seemed to be the forgotten man at Chelsea. He looked an excellent prospect when he was brought in from Genk and was promptly loaned out to Werder Bremen, where again he looked excellent. It looked like he would be farmed out again, that was until Mourinho got his hands on him and he looks to have become a vital member of the Chelsea team. He is a very good young player, he won’t score many, but that isn’t his job.
Gibbo is Evertons underrated player. He has been a fantastic purchase and when fit is often the difference in the Everton performance. Before he joined us, people would often just see him as a carthorse that could shoot, but he is a player comfortable on the ball with great vision. He is a much better player than people gave him credit for. He may not be fit, but he defo makes a difference.
Gibson 8 v De Bruyne 8
Super Kev has started the season poorly after a really promising pre season. He hasn’t really been involved. I expect this to change against Chelsea and I think he will prove his worth to the team in attack and defence. He is probably Evertons most attacking threat if Deulofeu is on the bench.
Chelseas new signing from Bayer Leverkusen is a superb player and fits in well with a Mourinho formation. He is a danger from the wings and has a 1 in 3 scoring record. He can operate upfront too, but he could be the man under the radar that could cause us problems. Shurrle and Mirallas could both make a difference and change a match in an instant.
Mirallas 8 v Shurrle 9
Englands new boy has enjoyed a fantastic start to the season and I expect him to carry on his form into this match. This season has seen a change in Ross. He looks powerful, quick, skilful and not afraid to shoot. I think he will cause Chelsea problems and if one of our forwards has actually learnt where the net is, he will provide ammunition. He is still a kid though, so we shouldn’t expect too much too soon, BUT WE DO!
Somehow Juan Mata doesn’t seem to be a Mourinho type player. Not a clue how. He is one of the best in the league. He is like a smaller, better Ross Barkley. (Through experience) He has all the Spanish tricks and control, but he also has end product. He is quality personified.
Juan Mata is John Terrys new best friend
Barkley 8.5 Mata 9.5
Pienaar has been fairly quiet this season and may find himself shifted infield more and more. He is still a very good player and just needs to find his form. His partnership with Baines is fantastic, he just needs to add a bit of extra flair to his current game. It will either be Pienaar or Osman, who seems to be undroppable despite hardly having a good game for well over a year.
Hazard is on fire. He is an outstanding player. He will cause us trouble. I probably don’t need to say anything more on him.
Pienaar 7.5 v Hazard 9.5
When we signed Jela there was a new hope that we had our 15-20 goal a season striker. Scoring 10 in his first 4/5 months we were on to a good thing. Then onto the next season and he looked to have lost all pace, control and confidence. Currently Jela doesn’t look to have anything. Infact I have never seen a player disappoint so much and change so much. He could be replaced for this match with Kone, who should be a bit more match fit and could cause Terry problems.
Despite signing Samuel Eto’o, I expect Torres to start. I don’t mind this, we normally do quite well against him. A lot of Chelsea fans have had enough, but Torres is still an excellent player and scored over 20 goals last season. Expectations are high though and with Demba Ba and Eto’o on your tails, Torres will need to perform.
Jelavic 6.5 v Torres 8.5
On paper Chelsea should provide too much attacking threat for Everton. They have threat all over the park. That said, if Everton turn up infront of a vicious Goodison Park we could cause problems.
Martinez could play Gareth Barry to provide cover for the defence, which would allow our attacking players to just go all out and attack. This means that Gerard Deulofeu could be brought in, although I expect to see more cover for the wing backs.
I personally think that Chelsea will win by a couple of goals.
Think I have it wrong? Have your say at www.theevertonforum.com
If you are a Chelsea fan you are welcome to comment and also check out our friends at The Shed End: http://www.theshedend.com/topic/24473-talking-to-the-opposition/