Chelsea visit Everton for their next match in the Barclays Premier League. Everton are anything but a dominant side, but have stars that can turn a match on its head if given an inch of maneuvering space. Here we take a look at the three key player battles from Saturday’s Everton v Chelsea.
As for team news, the biggest blow is obviously that of Thibaut Courtois and that too is a long term issue. On the other hand Oscar is still on his way to recovery and not there yet. Maybe in midweek?
Everton have injury concerns of their own, much more than Chelsea. Especially at left back, a position that hosts their best player in Leighton Baines.
Last season it was the game at Goodison Park, a goal-fest by any definition that set the tone for Chelsea’s triumphant campaign. Let’s hope that while Roberto Martinez and Co. are busy moaning about transfer windows and young players, Chelsea find their mojo and start what should be a good run of form. If only we could have the Ivanovic of old.
Ross Barkley v Nemanja Matic:
Barkley is one of the main creative force for the Merseyside club. Nemanja Matic is supposed to be the shield in front of Chelsea’s defence, just like last season. But this is anything but the last season. Chelsea have struggled in many areas and Nemanja Matic’s position has been one of them.
Ross Barkley would be licking his lips in the hope of coming up against a washed up Matic. He is one of the best youngsters in the league. But surely, Mourinho would have told his players that enough was enough and they should start carrying some responsibility. In light of that hope, we assume that this would be a creator v destroyer battle of sorts.
Who comes out on top is anybody’s guess because both players are as likely to have a field day as they are to have a torrid time. Wait and see, the battle most certainly is there.
Matic scored his first goal for Chelsea in the corresponding fixture last season.
Barkley: Long Shots, Dribbling
Matic: Aerial ability, Tackling
Tim Howard v Diego Costa:
You certainly need to give up on whatever you have been smoking if you think Mourinho would start Falcao or Remy in place of Costa at Goodison Park. The U.S. international has been one of the mainstays at Everton for sometime but has begun to show some signs of decline or perhaps a lack of collective performance. Especially against Spurs and Watford, yes-Watford!
Diego Costa might not have started the current season in the same vein as his debut campaign but his performance have mostly suffered because of Costa and Hazard’s. If either or both of them become themselves again, then Costa would find his rhythm back. Besides, there is absolutely no doubt that he would terrorise the Everton defense and have his moments with Howard.
How it pans out at the end of 90 minutes is yet to be seen though.
Howard: Shot Stopping
Costa: Anger, Finishing
Lukaku vs Begovic:
This season, we were talking about John Stones. Once, we talked about Lukaku in Everton’s context. A young, big, bull- in no specific order of adjectives.
Begovic is the best back-up one could hope for after Petr Cech. He has already proved his mettle against Manchester City, when the defence creaked and shook. Begovic will be looking to grab the opportunity with both hands and make the most of the occasion. Besides, he must have sorted out the gaps in communication with the defence.
Lukaku on the other hand would be itching to finally beat José Mourinho’s Chelsea since making the move to Liverpool. Both have motivation and inspiration to perform well and it should make for a great battle on the pitch. If Begovic does what Petr Cech did last time out against Lukaku, we should come back with all the three points. Hopefully!
Lukaku: Dribbling, Fierce Shot
Begovic:Shot Stopping, Distribution
All of these Key Player Battles from the Everton v Chelsea game at Goodison Park would be meaningless if Chelsea continue in the rich vein of form. Hazard for the first time is out of the player battles because it is high time he proved his credence as a legitimate successor to the best in the world.
It is a game of hope and wishes, wishes of three points much more than three key players battles!
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