Everton v Chelsea: Five players under the spotlight

Chelsea and Everton face off this weekend. Who will be the key men?

Last season 1-2

Odds: Everton 5/2, Draw 12/5, Chelsea 13/10

Both sides go into this game unbeaten in the Premier League so far but with contrasting ways of getting there. Everton have had three consecutive draws and have bemoaned the lack of cutting edge showcased against West Brom and Cardiff. Chelsea on the other hand have had two home wins and came away from Old Trafford with a draw.

On the injury front, Darron Gibson looks set to miss out, and with Marouanne Fellaini departing for Manchester United it could mean a completely different central midfield for the toffees with new signings Gareth Barry and James McCarthy potentially in line for their Everton debuts. Romelu Lukaku is unavailable for selection against his parent club.

For Chelsea they may hand Willian a debut, Eden Hazard is expected to be fit for selection after nursing a calf injury during the international break, and John Obi Mikel is still unavailable for selection.

Chelsea are fancied to win this one more than Everton, but this is expected to be a tough assignment for the visitors. Here is a look at a few players who may feature heavily in this game:

Nikicia Jelavic

This is a massive game for the Croat. With Romelu Lukaku unable to play any part against his parent club, Jelavic is likely to be Everton’s main man in attack. He knows his place will be under scrutiny from Roberto Martinez with a striker ready to be thrown into action this week. A good display here, and maybe rediscovering the form he showed in his first few months at Everton, will give Martinez a selection headache next week.

Gareth Barry

A deadline day signing that was necessary according to some Evertonians, as he is likely to be the leader of a new-look central midfield. With Darron Gibson likely to be missing, a lot of responsibility with fall on the shoulders of Barry to guide his new team around the park and stamp some kind of authority on the game for the home side. His influence could be a vital influence on the outcome of the game. 


He could well be handed his debut at Goodison Park after one of the strangest transfers of the summer. Mourinho seems to have been a little undecided on his forward line so far this season, but after Fernando Torres’ strike in the Super Cup he may be leading the line, but there is a chance Willian might get his first taste of Premier League action whilst Mourinho continues to experiment. He’s certainly a player to keep an eye on.

Willian also features in our top 10 Premier League players to watch this weekend, along with Nikicia Jelavic.

Frank Lampard

Where it not for his intervention in last season’s encounter at Goodison Park, Chelsea could’ve walked away empty handed. But against a central midfield that might not know each other so well just yet, Lampard will be a key figure if Chelsea are to win the battle in the middle of the park.

Petr Cech

There has been a statistic knocking around saying that Everton were the most threatening side in the Premier League this season in terms of shots on goal and the amount of time they spend around the opposition’s area. So, Petr Cech may well be a busy goalkeeper come Saturday teatime, possible bet for the man of the match award?

Last time they met

Chelsea 2-1 Everton - May 2013 Premier League

The last game of the season, where both sides knew their fate. Chelsea had qualified for the Champions League and Everton finished sixth and both teams were looking to finish on an eye, as both managers were in charge of their respective teams for the final time.

Juan Mata put Chelsea ahead after seven minutes before Steven Naismith equalised for Everton before a quarter of an hour had even been played. It stayed level for until after half-time. In the second half, Chelsea dominated and were eventually rewarded when Fernando Torres grabbed the winner 15 minutes from time, his first Premier League goal in five months to follow his goal in the Europa League final earlier that week.

images: © wonker, © wonker

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