Four points from four games is hardly Premier League form, by any stretch of the imagination.
Jose Mourinho’s stoic protection of his players came to an end last weekend when he was clearly unhappy with one or two individuals in particular. He vented his frustration publically following a 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge to Crystal Palace, only his second defeat in the league in 100 home games.
Traveling to Goodison Park is hardly the ideal assignment when you’re on such a dismal run, but it is quite clear that we can’t afford to lose this game. Everton aren’t in particularly good form themselves but have shown a lot more promising signs than we have thus far.
There is no doubt that there will be changes to the team in this one. The fact that Mourinho opted to substitute Cesar Azpilicueta and Nemanja Matic last week and replaced them with youngsters, despite the team being a goal down, clearly exemplifies his dissatisfaction. The group that coasted to the title last season has looked listless and jaded this time around, and something new needs to be injected to see an improvement.
We look at three things that could be different in our side on Saturday:
1) Chelsea’s backline or a children’s TV show?
Could our defensive line-up actually read, ‘Azpi –Papy-Happy-Baba’? Along with being hilarious on many levels, it may just be our best combination. John Terry and Gary Cahill both being dropped so suddenly though is far too radical to be realistic.
But one thing that certainly has to change is Branislav Ivanovic’s presence at right-back. He has been dismal for an incredibly long time now to still warrant a place in the starting line-up. Bring in Baba Rahman and shift Azpilicueta onto the right.
2) A shuffle in midfield
Ruben Loftus-Cheek came on for Matic last weekend, and his performance showed that he was certainly ready to play at this level. It is Mourinho’s practice to go with a 3-man midfield in away games such as this, and while Ramires has been the first-choice previously, it could be Loftus-Cheek’s time to shine now.
Fabregas could be pushed further forward, or maybe dropped altogether following a very poor start to his season. Oscar is once again injured, and so we would most probably see either Fabregas or Willian occupying the number 10 role while Pedro will most likely drop out if both of them play.
3) Tiger in, lion out?
Diego Costa has clearly looked lost this season, and his lousy attitude hasn’t made things any easier. Radamel Falcao, on the other hand, has looked lively whenever he has played. While a direct switch does seem unlikely as the Colombian may struggle on his own up front, there is a chance that Mourinho runs out of patience with the Spaniard before too long.
These are desperate times, and we will see some desperate and drastic measures taken as a result. Let’s just hope that they help us kick-start our season and come away from Merseyside with a solid performance and all three points.
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Edited By: Karan Dubey
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