Apr 252015
 

Alex-Corredera-durante-el-derb_54352630545_54115221154_600_396

José Mourinho is reportedly looking to add to his stash of youth stars, this time its Barcelona midfielder Àlex Corredera. Corredera is only 19 years old and playing for the Juvenil A side of the Catalan club. In the UEFA Europa league earlier this season, Corredera scored twice in the six games he was featured in. His performances internationally for the Spanish youth team, combined with his performances for the Barcelona Juvenil A side, are linking him to other Premier League clubs such as Everton, Stoke City, and Southampton.

Corredera, paired with teenage sensation Ruben Loftus-Cheek, would be a deadly midfield combo on the youth team and in the years to come on the senior squad. Corredera has not commented on the possible move to Stamford Bridge yet, but he might not want to leave Barcelona. Luis Enrique is not looking to move Corredera unless he gets the right price, and Corredera might wonder if he is still wanted at Camp Nou, then he might not want to leave. Playing alongside footballers like Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez is a dream for most teenagers, but it is a reality for Corredera. Corredera and Barcelona are apparently discussing a new contract, his current one expires at the end of this season, but if they cannot reach an agreement by the summer transfer window, expect Mourinho to be calling his agent very quickly.

Chelsea and José Mourinho especially, have a reputation for killing a teenage starlet’s careers, loaning them out multiple times to different countries, and never letting them into the first team. Corredera would not be loaned out his first year at Chelsea, but he would not see the pitch as a first team player. Instead he would be playing for the Chelsea U-21 side, and then when he is ready for first team football, he will either be loaned out or given a shot in the Chelsea first team.

Corredera has been keyed the nickname “the next Leo Messi” for a reason. He certainly has the potential to be one of the greatest footballers in the world, but who he will be playing for is still up in the air.

 Posted by at 8:20 pm
Apr 242015
 

wenger-Vs-Mou

José Mourinho’s men will take on Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal side at the Emirates this Sunday. Chelsea will be looking to take a 13 point lead in the Premier League, while Arsenal looks to keep their slim title hopes alive. Expect Chelsea to come out on top, for multiple reasons explained below..

  1. Managerial Matchup

Chelsea has the upper hand on Arsenal in the office. Wenger just simply can’t beat Mourinho, and in the last 12 matchups, Wenger has failed to beat the Portuguese manager. Mourinho has been tactically perfect recently, especially against Arsenal. Chelsea’s 6-0 beat down on Arsenal last year is a perfect example of this. Mourinho is a man of mind games, and you can be certain he has a mastermind plan ready to go this Sunday. I suspect he will come out wanting to park the bus, allowing Arsenal to control the possession, then exquisitely counter-attack and expose Arsenal’s mistakes and leaks in their defense. Sounds like last week against Manchester United right?

  1. Consistent Back Four

It is popularly accepted that Mourinho will look to John Terry and Garry Cahill to control the central defense posts, with Branislav Ivanović and César Azpilicueta manning the flanks. This defense has proven itself across the season, with only Garry Cahill having a drop of form once this season. Chelsea has only conceded 27 goals this year, only Southampton have conceded less (24). John Terry is one of the most consistent English defender all-time, part of the reason he is still starting for Mourinho, and still wearing the captain arm band on his left bicep.  Ivanović only has one obvious weakness, that being his pace. A pacey winger could provide plenty of problems for him, but he did well against Ashley Young last week, and I suspect he will carry his form over to this week. We will not see César Azpilicueta pushing forward like  Branislav Ivanović will this week, but he will be holding his position in his own half, focusing on keeping Alexis Sánchez in his pocket. This defense will prove too much for Arsenal’s attack, and will play a large part in starting the counter-attack for José Mourinho.

  1. Cesc Fàbregas

Mourinho will use Cesc in a different role then he normally does, playing him higher up the pitch in Oscar’s familiar no. 10 role. This new positioning allows Cesc to display his world-class talents in making crucial passes, and amazing off ball movement. Not to mention, this is his first time playing in front of Arsenal supporters since he left for Camp Nou in 2011. Expect to see a new energetic, prolific Cesc this weekend at the Emirates.

  1. Eden Hazard’s Magic

Eden Hazard has been undoubtedly the most amazing player this year in the Premier League, creating chances, assisting goals, and scoring clutch goals consistently for José Mourinho. He was the difference in the Manchester United match last weekend, scoring the lone goal and leading Chelsea to the 1-0 victory. Chelsea has relied on Hazard to create chances when Costa is out, and Cesc is out of form.

  1. Per Mertesacker and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsenal struggled against a Reading team, showing gaping holes in their defense, and lacking an attack from the opposite wing of Alexis. These problems are directly related to the injuries to veteran center-back, Per Mertesacker and explosive winger, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. They are both figured to be 50/50 for the clash on Sunday, but if either of these players is inactive, expect Mourinho to take full advantage of it.

(All stats from squawka.com)

 Posted by at 2:48 pm
Apr 242015
 

Chelsea Squad

On Sunday, Chelsea can basically lock up the Premier League Title against Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal side. Coming off a 1-0 win against Manchester United, expect José Mourinho to follow a similar plan to the one he utilized against Louis Van Gaal’s Red Devils. Even though Arsenal have won their last 9 matches, and Chelsea are in a bit of a slump (compared to pre-December run), Chelsea are still odds on favorites to win 2/1. The question marks surrounding Diego Costa and

Loïc Rémy’s fitness, also provide another glimpse of hope for Arsenal supporter’s aspirations of possibly giving Chelsea a run to the finish line.

In between the sticks, Thibaut Courtois will start.  Courtois has proven himself as José Mourinho’s first choice goalkeeper, by leading Chelsea’s second ranked defense this season. Courtois concedes only 0.95 goals per 90 minutes, which ranks him third in the Premier League for goalkeepers with 20+ appearances. Petr Čech has been outstanding this Premier League season also, not conceding a goal in his five appearances. José has stuck with Courtois this season, and expect him to choose Courtois as his goalkeeper again this Sunday.

The back four should consist of English duo, John Terry and Gary Cahill, with Branislav Ivanović and César Azpilicueta on the flanks. Kurt Zouma’s name is certainly involved in the discussion for a shot at Gary Cahill’s spot, but José Mourinho consistently chooses Cahill over Zouma, and Cahill has had an above average run of form recently. Zouma played exceptionally well marking Marouane Fellaini, but Arsenal do not have the same aerial threat that needs to be absolutely locked down. Azpilicueta and Ivanović will push forward like we have seen recently, especially Ivanović helping on right wing.

The midfield will consist of two holding midfielders, Nemanja Matić, and Ramires, with Cesc Fàbregas

in the no. 10 role. This is different than the typical Mourinho side we have seen this year because of the absence of a traditional striker. Matić resurrected his form from earlier this season against Manchester United last weekend, wreaking havoc across the midfield. Ramires will fill Cesc’s normal role to the right of Matić, as Cesc takes Oscar’s role stationed above the two holding midfielders. Cesc playing higher and closer to the goal will help feature his exceptional skills in moving the ball to the open man and creating chances.

Chelsea’s attack will most likely be made up of two wings and a false 9 in the striker position. With first choice striker Diego Costa nursing his hamstring, Loïc Rémy caring for his calf injury, and Didier Drogba backing out of a charity match on Monday due to an ankle injury, Mourinho is out of options at striker. He could pull up either teenage sensation, Dom Solanke or Izzy Brown, to fill the striker position, but with neither having Premier League experience, I highly doubt that either will get the move into the first team but I suspect Dom Solanke to be on the bench for the first whistle. Mourinho will most likely go with Eden Hazard as the false 9 because of Eden’s ability to track balls, and his amazing movement in and around the box. Cesc would also be a candidate for the false 9, having played it perfectly in the 2012 Euro Final which Spain won, 4-0 against a strong Italian side. Oscar will continue to play on the right wing, which he plays so well for Brazil, and last weekend against Manchester United. Mourinho will most likely choose Willian to play on the left wing, with Juan Cuadrado not having the Premier League experience to play against a side like Arsenal in his debut.

Chelsea will try to expose Arsène Wenger’s side this Sunday by looking to counter-attack and capitalize off of Arsenal’s mistakes. Chelsea will win the match in similar fashion to the way they outclassed Manchester United last weekend.

(All stats from squawka.com)

 Posted by at 12:47 pm
Apr 152015
 

Manchester United vs Chelsea

This Saturday will see Manchester United take on Chelsea. Manchester United, arguably the team with the biggest fan-base and legacy in the footballing world will meet Chelsea – the leaders of the new era of footballing greats. This is a fixture that in the past would see Chelsea punching above their weight as they took on the global titans Manchester United. It’s all different now. We mustn’t deny that after a certain change in the millennia, Chelsea’s luck took a change for the better and when we passed ‘Go’ in 2004 and collected our pocket money we too have become global giants. This season’s home tie is a fixture with renewed poignancy after 2013-14 saw Manchester United knocked off their pedestal, failed to qualify for the Champions League and arguably left without an identity after the big loss of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. This season they are back and ready to challenge for titles, eager to show themselves to be the real leaders of the English game once more.

As a Chelsea fan, you have to remain optimistic. We are top of the Premier League with only two league losses to our name this season. We play Manchester United on our own soil – Stamford Bridge – which seems to have magical properties and we are a far more confident side playing at home. When we went to Old Trafford earlier in the campaign we were left disappointed, Branislav Ivanovic was sent off in the 92nd minute resulting in a late 93rd minute Robin van Persie goal seeing us take just one point from the game. But we have to think differently, we are now challenging for a title and every single game takes us one step closer to lifting the Premier League trophy. Jose Mourinho’s workings out factor in two games we can draw and to win the league we can even lose a game or two.

I believe Jose will set us up in this game for us to draw, as he always does in these big clashes. But we are Chelsea, and we have the means to win this game without defensive mind-games. Here are five reasons why we can see off Manchester United this Saturday.

1) Student meets master

Ah, the age old proverb (from somewhere or other) in that you should never teach somebody everything you know. Jose Mourinho would be brilliant at anything he did, but without Louis van Gaal’s education and watchful eye he would not be one of the best football managers in the world. With van Gaal nearing retirement and Mourinho at the top of his game, it will be interesting to see how the two masters of mind-games set up against each other in Saturday’s clash and who comes out on top. Plus, Jose never had to get his testicles out to get his team to listen to him.

2) Loïc Remy

With 5 Premier League goals already under his belt this season, Loïc Remy could be our saving grace. Having spent a lot of this season on the bench due to injury and the form of Diego Costa, he is now match-fit and ready to take centre stage. Could Remy help us to beat our northern rivals?

3) Thibaut Courtois

It goes without saying that Courtois is one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now. We also have Petr Cech on the bench, who would still fit in most people’s top ten lists. To have such a talented goalkeeping duo ready to interchange whenever needs be is rare in football. Courtois has been responsible for some spectacular saves this season and I’m sure without him we would not have won so many games. He has been a pleasure to watch, and although his United counterpart David De Gea is also in good form, Courtois is a rising star.

4) Stamford Bridge

The holy grail of home turf, having seen just one Premier League loss since the start of the 2013-14 season is about to be tested. With such great stats it is hard to doubt Chelsea will win, but we have to be pragmatic and look at what great form Manchester United are in. It will be a hard battle but I believe Chelsea will come out on top.

5) League Title

We are so close to winning the Premier League! If this isn’t enough to drive our players through then I don’t know what is. Sure, our points total can handle a draw or even a loss, but a win against Manchester United is not only prestigious but pivotal in winning the league before the season is over.

Only time can tell what the result will be. The fact that it is Manchester United we are facing is a delight for the press, but we need ignore the pressure. We must see it as simply a fixture worth three points, and move on to the next game.

Follow the author on Twitter @ellenrosemariex

 Posted by at 4:00 pm
Apr 082015
 

FBL-FRA-LCUP-PARIS-SAINT-ETIENNE

Manchester United are set to beat the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool to the signing of Paris Saint-Germain striker, Edison Cavani. According to reports, the Red Devils are preparing a bid of £60 million to lure the Uruguayan to England.

Manchester United intend to make room for Cavani with the sale of Robin Van Persie and also plan not to extend Falcao’s load deal when it expires at the end of the season according to the report. Should this happen, the Red Devils would have freed up about £460,000-a-week in wages, allowing them to conveniently pay Cavani the £300,000-a-week salary he is reportedly on at Paris Saint-Germain.

The Uruguayan international is said to be unhappy at the French club due to lack of game time since Laurent Blanc has preferred in form Zlatan Ibrahimovic to play up front. And judging by the comment attributed to Cavani recently, he could be open to a move away from the French club. The player was quoted to have said;

“For now I think only about finishing the season well here and give my best for the club that pays me.

”In Paris, I’m fine, but in football you never know what can happen in the future.“

Despite not having enough game time in his preferred striking role, since moving from Napoli in 2013, for £55 million, his goal scoring records at Paris Saint-Germain speak for him, with 43 goals in 84 games, Cavani could prove to be a formidable partner for Wayne Rooney at Manchester United. Manchester United have struggled to score goals this season due mainly to the lack of fitness of Robin Van Persie and the failure of Ramadel Falcao to live up to expectation.

Chelsea are said to also be interested in the 28-year old but with Diego Costa being the preferred striker at the club, it’s still unlikely that he would get much game time up front and considering Mourinho usually plays with one striker, Cavani might just find himself lacking game time yet again if he joins Chelsea.

The Blues could do with a decent striker who can take some of the pressure off Diego Costa. Chelsea do not need another big name striker, but a reliable back up to Diego Costa ( especially considering Remy’s constant romance with injuries and seemingly lack of trust Mourinho has in him ). Diego Costa has shown in the past year that he has a soft hamstring and as Mourinho said at the start of the season, the Spanish International would not be able to play all the games for Chelsea this season and maybe not next season. Diego Costa is currently out injured with a hamstring injury he picked up initially against Hull City but made worst against Stoke City at the weekend, a game which he lasted just ten minutes before he was forced to limp off. Costa would be out for two weeks and would miss the crucial Premier league encounter against Manchester United on the 18th of April.

 Posted by at 5:39 pm
Apr 082015
 

Marco-Reus-Hairstyle-2012-Borussia-Dortmund

With Oscar being inconsistent and Diego Costa having a soft hamstring, Chelsea would do well to add some depth to their squad. In the last one year, Chelsea have been linked heavily with the signing of German International, Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund.

The German who despite his injury record is wanted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, is seen as a world class star capable of changing games on his own. In my opinion, Chelsea should do all it takes to sign the German. He is simply one player the Blues can do with right now. Although he had a big injury which ruled him out of the last World Cup in Brazil, I do not think this is enough reason to tag him injury prone.

What makes Reus a special is totally different from what sets other playmakers/attackers apart. It is quite simple, Chelsea do not have a single player in their current team who is versatile enough to play the same roles as Reus or have the same ability as the German. Although there are many quality midfielders in the league ( such as Hazard, Ozil, Countinho, Silva ), Marco Reus is a player in his own class.

What’s so special about Marco Reus?

That would be his shooting technique as well as the pace of his dribbling. To Marco Reus, the opposition defenders are merely small obstacles on his way to finding the quickest possible way forward for his team. However, these alone does not define Reus. He has also special qualities. He scores a lot of goals for a player who mostly plays for Dortmund in the “Fabregas’ role” and just like Fabregas, he assists a lot of goals. He is strong and helpful when his team are been attacked, the pace at which he picks his passes puts the opposition’s defense under pressure at all time.

But won’t he be a luxury buy considering Chelsea have Fabregas who is similar player?

In my opinion, Reus is a player that Chelsea can do with right now. He is definitely not a luxury. He will considerably improve Jose Mourinho’s current Chelsea side and he is versatile enough to stand in for Diego Costa when his usual hamstring problem surfaces. Although Fabregas can play the roles he can play, but Reus edges it in the attack and let’s face it, Fabregas can’t play well on the wing – ask any Barca fan. At 24 years of age, Reus is entering the prime of his career. He is settled at a strong club and is now experienced and fully physically mature.

If Chelsea acts swifty, they may just manage to avoid a bidding war. Considering the insistent ( or so it seems ) of Roman Abramovich to obey the FFP laws, Chelsea cannot afford to be extravagant in the transfer market, hence the key is quickly identifying their targets and making moves as fast as possible.

Although Marco Reus only just signed a new contract with Dortmund, this does not mean his future at Borussia Dortmund is certain. It is not uncommon to see players signing a new contract with their club in one season and leaving in the next season.

 Posted by at 11:48 am
Apr 072015
 

Bale to wear number 9?

According to reports from Brazil, Chelsea have concluded plans to bring former Tottenham winger, Gareth Bale to the premier league come the summer. Also confident of this deal are Chinese wholesale giants, Ali Express, who are so confident of this deal and have begun to sell Bale shirts and suggest he would be handed the number 9, which was left vacant when Fernando Torres left the Bridge.

If it’s a mistake or a publicity stunt by the website, it’s yet to be known, but they also go on to suggest that blues legend, Didier Drogba would stay on as a player despite his age. In the past few months, there have been claims by different sources that Gareth Bale would leave Real Madrid after having an indifferent season with the Spanish side, and there have been claims of Chelsea readying a £75m offer for Bale which may force Real Madrid to sanction the transfer of the Welshman. The former Tottenham player has not had it easy in his second season with Real Madrid. He has come under intense criticism by his own fans which has led to speculations about his future with Real Madrid.

Despite delivering a near perfect first season for Real Madrid in which he scored crucial goals in the Copa del Rey and Champions League finals, the fans seem to have forgotten how good he was in this first season and have turned the heat on him.

Should the blues get to actually sign Bale, they can be sure to get their money back in terms of sale of shirts as even before the deal is confirmed, the sale of his replica jersey has begun and would increase the value of the team. The 25-year-old former Tottenham player is blessed with electric pace and he is physically strong which makes him the perfect player for a counter-attacking team such as Chelsea. Another great thing about the Welshman is his high work rate. His tirelessness and ability to hassle for the ball will surely appeal to Jose Mourinho who always expects his wide players to contribute to his team’s defensive plays.

But despite the good marketing value he has, due to the Financial Fair Play rule, Chelsea may not want to sign him as he would also command a huge wage bill. Recently, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea have tried to be cautious with their spending. Chelsea have had to balance the books in recent times by sanctioning the sales of the likes of David Luiz, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku.

Manchester United are also admirers of Bale. He could follow a similar path to those trodden by Di Maria and Ozil. This will not surprise many football fans as Real Madrid is a club known for not holding on to players for too long no matter how good they are. Perfect examples are Di Maria and Mesut Ozil. For Real Madrid, it is about business.

 Posted by at 12:50 pm
Apr 062015
 

The Premier League season is gradually coming to an end, and already the Blues have been tipped as favourites by most people to lift the trophy. Chelsea have been magnificent this season with the addition of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa to the team, they have played some breath taking football at times, but towards the end of the season, the Blue train seem to have been slowing down, somewhat limping to the finishing line.

Not playing as well as they could, they still manage to get the needed results and analyst would say that’s the sign of a Champion. But what would worry the Blues more would be Thibaut Courtois’s drop in form of late, his mistakes against Hull City and Stoke City have ensure Chelsea have had to work extra hard to turn draws to wins. However, yours truly still believe the blues will be crowned champion at the end of the season and here is why;

1. Mourinho’s Experience;

The experience of Jose Mourinho cannot be swept under the carpet, having won the League with all Clubs he has Coached, the Portuguese knows how to win.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is not known to throw away a lead, and with the Blues now sitting six-points clear of their next nearest rivals with a game-in-hand, it is hard to imagine Chelsea not having already locked up the League title. This is especially so, after being knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain leaving the club free to focus their attention on winning  the Premiership title.

2. The Teams Quality;

The only thing Chelsea have suffered from this season, is their lack of depth, something that looked responsible for their early UEFA Champions League exit. Chelsea have a very strong starting eleven, but their bench can’t match their first team and this has led to the tiredness of some players and also the drop in form of players like Oscar and Fabregas.

But in Mourinho, they have a manager who can make dry woods play for him and with a solid first team, who look tired, he has been able to man manage them and give some key players the needed break when he can.

3. Too Big a gap;

With Manchester City not playing well, suddenly the 6 point gap opened up by Chelsea look very huge, coupled with the fact that the blues have a game in hand, not mathematically impossible, but looks very difficult to overturn.

4. Loic Remy Impact;

Under used this season, but whenever called upon, Remy has always given his best for Chelsea. Remy’s course have not been helped by the fact that Diego Costa has been so good and Mourinho prefers to play with one striker up front. Even after his winning goal against Hull City, Jose Mourinho said he feels at times for Remy because he deserves more than he probably have been given at Chelsea.

With two match winning goals in as many games for Chelsea, and with Diego Costa struggling with his hamstring, the Frenchman has become a very important player for Chelsea, as he would likely start most of the remaining games with Costa likely to be out for up to one month.

 Posted by at 2:27 pm
Mar 112015
 

On Wednesday, the Premier League leaders would take on French Champions in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash. The first leg which ended in a one all draw saw the French side mount waves of attack at the Chelsea defence but were only able to convert one of the numerous chances. PSG played so well that after the game, Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho admitted that Paris Saint-Germain deserved to have won the game.

Rather than a midfield pairing of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas, Jose Mourinho opted to pair Matic with Brazilian, Ramires and moved Spanish International, Cesc Fabregas up front behind fellow country man, Diego Costa. This was done by Jose Mourinho in the first leg, recognising the need for extra power in the middle of the park, and also so that tactics can be changed during the game without the need for a substitution.

Red hot Eden Hazard was kept quiet for most part of the game and was not effective as he usually is for the blues, but rather it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edison Cavani who were all over the blues with Thibaut Courtois forced repeatedly into making fantastic saves.

For the second leg, the blues welcome back Nemanja Matic, who has not played since he was handed a two-game domestic ban for a high challenge in February’s Premier League draw with Burnley, while Mourinho will be looking for more protection for Eden Hazard after the Belgium international was fouled nine times in the first leg.

As always, Jose Mourinho is expected to set up a very discipline team and gradually introducing in opposition minds a looming sense of despair about their prospects in the London when the final business of this tie will be conducted, the blues are expected to have most of the possession with Matic and Cesc Fabregas in midfield, the Spanish International is expected to feed the attack with possession to do damage to the Paris Saint-Germain back line which is expected to feature David Luiz who enjoyed success in this same competition with the blues in 2012.

Do not expect a classic Champions League game, but would make for a very interesting watch as Jose Mourinho looks to make his mark in the Champions League with Chelsea, something he’s desperate to do.

 Posted by at 10:43 am
Feb 172015
 

As the Premier League enters the business stage of the season, Chelsea is in a wonderful position to see through their dominance at the summit and win the title in May. Jose Mourinho has undoubtedly delivered on his promise that Chelsea would be serious contenders in his second season in the hot seat since returning a successful stint at Real Madrid, with his tactical masterclass and shrewdness in the transfer market reaping instant dividends.

Juan Cuadrado’s arrival during the January transfer window will add even more quality and pace to Chelsea’s attacking play, and with the defence and midfield areas also looking strong, there is little to suggest that anyone can stop them running away with the title. The 2-1 victory against Aston Villa extended Chelsea’s lead at the summit to seven points, and with Manchester City continuing to wobble, it may be the perfect opportunity for the Blues to ram home their advantage. Everton may be struggling to rediscover their best form this season, but they will arrive at Stamford Bridge with a point to prove, making them dangerous opponents. It may take a similar performance to the one that Chelsea put in at Liberty Stadium in their 5-0 rout against Swansea, and if they play like this again, it would be difficult to see Roberto Martinez’s side avoiding the same fate.

Best attack

The Premier League’s leading scorers continue to find the back of the net with unerring ease, with their attacking football this season being a joy to behold. Chelsea’s superb home record – winning ten and drawing one – will make them strong favourites to record yet another three points in front of the fans, but they will have to put in another excellent performance to get past Everton. Aston Villa proved that even teams who are struggling in the Premier League can, on their day, cause problems; Everton are certainly not the sort of team to under-estimate, particularly with former Blues player Romelu Lukaku returning in the hope of proving his critics wrong. It will therefore require a strong performance from not only the attacking players, but also the defence and holding midfield players who will be expected to keep things tight at the back. Games against the Toffees are always a tight affair, and if Eden Hazard, Oscar and Diego Costa can continue their wonderful form, they could be the all-important difference between the two sides.

Toffees come unstuck

Despite being unbeaten in their last four Premier League fixtures, Everton are still not playing to their true potential and are falling short of the standards set last season. Martinez is undoubtedly one of the most talented managers in the game, but fans have already begun to voice concerns that the team increasingly resemble his former side Wigan who, despite winning admirers for their style of play, eventually dropped back down to the Championship. Winning just six of their twenty-four fixtures has not helped matters, but Everton are always a dangerous team to come up against and should not be under-estimated. However, they could be missing up to seven players for the trip to Stamford Bridge, with Steven Naismith and Muhamed Besic joining the likes of Leighton Baines, Tim Howard and Steven Pienaar on the side-lines after picking up knocks in the Merseyside derby.

 Posted by at 7:29 pm