Everton v Chelsea Preview (Premier League) – 30th August 2014

Chelsea face their biggest test of the season so far as they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton. After two wins against two promoted sides so far, Chelsea now face last season’s fifth placed side, and they’re looking to avenge the defeat they suffered here last season.

After their 2-0 win over Leicester last week, Chelsea are one of just four teams to have taken maximum points so far (the others being Spurs, Man City and Swansea). The Blues haven’t looked like they’ve gotten out of second gear so far, and they’ll have to raise their game against Everton. The Toffees drew 2-2 with Arsenal last week, despite leading 2-0 until the 83rd minute. After two draws so far, Everton will be looking to get their first win here.

Jose Mourinho has a fully fit squad available and he is unlikely to make any changes from the side that won the opening two games. Thibaut Courtois has been confirmed as the club’s number one keeper, and Mourinho has even said he’d let Petr Cech leave if the keeper requested it. We may see Filipe Luis make his debut, but Mourinho is unlikely to drop Branislav Ivanovic after his great start to the season.

In midfield, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas are the first choice pairing, and they’re unlikely to be shifted any time soon. As for the rest of the midfield berths, Andre Schurrle seems to have the edge over Willian for the spot on the right, while Oscar and Eden Hazard are automatic first choices. Up font Diego Costa will start again, while Fernando Torres, who was left out of the squad last time out, could be about to move to AC Milan on loan.

For Everton, they’ve just signed former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o, but he’s not likely to be fit enough to feature here. Another former Chelsea striker, Romelu Lukaku, is likely to play, and you would think he’ll have a point to prove. This will be his first time playing against the Blues, and he’ll be looking to show why he was treated unfairly at the club.

Everton have a number of injury worries, with Ross Barkley out for up to five months and Arouna Kone, Bryan Oviedo and Steven Pienaar all ruled out of this game. Also, Chelsea starlet Christian Atsu, on loan at Everton, will be ineligible for this one.

After their 1-0 win in this fixture last season, Everton are likely to be confident. But the problem last season was the Pensioners didn’t take their chances, and lost 1-0. They had a total of 19 shots without managing to score. That surely won’t be the same this time, with Diego Costa in great form. Mourinho will be looking to him to have a deciding role in this game and we think the visitors will just about do enough.

LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 2-1