It’s hard to say anything positive about the start Everton have had to their season, even though they’ve yet to lose a match in what is practically a new era for the team. Chelsea have been a bit more successful, even though it hasn’t really shown in terms of positive football, which is something that takes more time to establish than results.
With Roberto Martinez at the helm, there’s a chance Everton might try and change their ways as well. Known as one of the toughest teams to play in the Premier League, there might be something of creativity and flair that will be added to them under Martinez, although the signings he’s made don’t really point toward free flowing, attractive football.
The arrivals of Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku are certainly a serious addition to their aspiration of avoiding any kind of lower table battles, but it remains to be seen how how Fellaini’s impact on the offensive side of the ball will be replaced by Barry, and will it simply allow James McCarthy to be a bit more free in his roaming forward. However, Lukaku is ineligble to face his parent club, so Everton will have to do with either Jelavic or Arouna Kona up front, both being options that don’t promise too many goals.
Chelsea haven’t played too well through their first four matches of the season, which included the European Super Cup and a penalties loss to Bayern Munich. Jose Mourinho isn’t afraid to put on very defensive lineups which includes no strikers, but the arrival of Samuel Eto’o might mean he has made up his mind regarding a more permanent face up front, if Eto’o is fit enough to start his first ever Premier League match.
It’ll be interesting to see if Mourinho chooses Hazard, who didn’t play for Belgium in weekend win over Scotland last season. The Belgian midfielder is healthy enough to play, but Mourinho might opt to give Juan Mata a chance in the lineup, as the controversy around his benching continues to make people wonder about Mourinho’s intentions for Chelsea’s best player over the last couple of seasons.
Predictions – Goodison Park isn’t Old Trafford, and Chelsea won’t be so defensive in this match as they were in their previous Premier League match, which occurred almost three weeks ago. While Everton have some solid new pieces in their midfield, it’ll take them time to get them working, and goals are going to be hard to come by all season long, giving Chelsea the edge in this one, as expected.