Everton - Chelsea Preview: Will Mourinho shake it up?

Chelsea faces Everton at Goodison Park in a testing return to Premier League action following the international break. The Blues are in...

Chelsea faces Everton at Goodison Park in a testing return to Premier League action following the international break.

The Blues are in 13th position on the league table and chasing just their second win of the 2015-16 campaign having stumbled out of the blocks.

With his team’s title defence hardly going to plan as yet, Jose Mourinho has every reason to ring the changes on Saturday. Branislav Ivanovic has been a liability on the right side of defence, while Cesc Fabregas looks out of his depth partnering Nemanja Matic at the base of midfield.

Many Chelsea fans would love a glimpse of new signing Baba Rahman, but his inclusion would probably see Ivanovic dropped and Cesar Azpilicueta shifted to his natural right fullback position. Centre-back Papy Djilobodji is also in contention to make his Chelsea debut.

Everton is also yet to string together successive victories, but a convincing 3-0 win over Southampton at Saint Mary’s has helped the Toffees into ninth place after four matches.

Roberto Martinez hasn’t seen his men find the back of the net in back to back outings, albeit against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. The home side will likely be eager to attack this fragile Chelsea outfit though, and the last time they went went three league games without scoring was nearly a decade ago in April 2006.

The wheels aren’t quite in motion for Everton nor Chelsea this season. Three points for either team could provide the injection of confidence needed to build the foundations of a winning streak.

Everton Form

(D) Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Everton (Premier League, August 2015)
(W) Barnsley 3-5 Everton (Capital One Cup, August 2015)
(L) Everton 0-2 Manchester City (Premier League, August 2015)
(W) Southampton 0-3 Everton (Premier League, August 2015)
(D) Everton 2-2 Watford (Premier League, August 2015)

Chelsea Form

(L) Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace (Premier League, August 2015)
(W) West Brom 2-3 Chelsea (Premier League, August 2015)
(L) Manchester City 3-0 Chelsea (Premier League, August 2015)
(D) Chelsea 2-2 Swansea (Premier League, August 2015)

Last Five Meetings

Chelsea 1-0 Everton (Premier League, February 2015)
Everton 3-6 Chelsea (Premier League, August 2014)
Chelsea 1-0 Everton (Premier League, February 2014)
Everton 1-0 Chelsea (Premier League, September 2013)
Chelsea 2-1 Everton (Premier League, May 2013)

Everton Team News

Midfielder Tom Cleverley could be out for up to eight weeks after damaging his ankle ligaments during the 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

Roberto Martinez’s problems on the left side of defence worsen with Bryan Oviedo unlikely to feature having missed international duty with Costa Rica due to a knee injury. Brendan Galloway is expected to return in his place.

Chelsea Team News

Asmir Begovic will almost certainly line up between the sticks with Thibaut Courtois sidelined due to a knock. The Belgian picked up a potentially severe knee injury in training soon after returning from international duty.
Victor Moses and Oscar are likely to remain absent.

Probable Lineups

Score Prediction

Everton is a tricky opponent to face on the road, especially coming off the back of an international break. The time away from club action could be a blessing in disguise, though.

Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea side must wash away the memory of a dismal 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge. Given the flat performances by the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, Branislav Ivanovic, Mourinho could afford to experiment with his first eleven.

I’d like to see Baba Rahman thrown into the mix. Should he be fit and assimilated with the squad, which he probably is by this stage, his attacking prowess down the left is an enticing prospect.
Cesc Fabregas has outstayed his welcome alongside Nemanja Matic in defensive midfield and perhaps should be moved into an attacking role. A license to roam in the attacking third could be all he needs to rejuvenate his creative flair.

The international break presents an opportunity to wipe the slate clean. Even a draw would be good result at Goodison Park, and I think we’d do very well to take all three points on this occasion. I’m predicting a 2-2 draw. What are your score predictions?

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