Jose Mourinho will take his team to Goodison Park in the Saturday Night Football as high-flyers Chelsea take on Everton in what will no doubt prove to be the blues’ sternest test to date.
Everton come in to the fixture on the back of two draws; away to newly promoted Leicester City and at home to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal respectively. Toffees boss Roberto Martinez will be disappointed in the manner in which his side threw away leads in both games, especially when they were 2-0 up against the Gunners.
On the other hand, Mourinho will be satisfied with Chelsea’s start to the season despite a ‘lazy’ first half display against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday last. A trip to Everton is a tough ask for any Premier League side and even more without your main striker. Diego Costa had been a ‘big doubt’ for the game according to Mourinho after suffering a ‘minor’ muscular injury. However it has since emerged that Costa trained on Friday and is still in contention for a starting place.
“He is a big doubt, let’s see,” the Chelsea boss told the press. “Everyone else is fit.”
“We are trying everything for him to play. He didn’t train for the last two days. Today is the last day.”
“We have to try and see if the reaction is positive. If the reaction is positive, we take him and select him on the bench.”
Whilst Costa’s role is uncertain, one thing that is clear, is that Fernando Torres will not be available to play after he agreed a two-year loan deal with Italian giants AC Milan.
“What we have clear as a club is that we need three strikers this season,” Mourinho said. “He is one of them.”
“I like him as a person, I like him as a player so that if he wants to leave it would be something he didn’t say to me until this moment.”
“If he wants to leave I believe it’s because he wants to try a new life, a new club, probably a new league,” added Mourinho of the out-of-favour Spanish striker.
Chelsea may have to rely on 36 year-old Didier Drogba to lead the line as the Ivorian is the only direct replacement for top-dog Diego Costa.
Everton will be looking to redeem themselves after two consecutive draws and if not at full throttle, the Stamford Bridge club could be in for a real tester. Most notably Samuel Eto’o and Romelu Lukaku will also be in-line to play against their former club Chelsea after joining Everton on permanent deals this Summer, raising the stakes just that little more. All signs point to an intriguing contest at Goodison Park.
Prediction- A tight and tentative affair in the opening stages but the game to gradually open up. 1-1.