Let’s make no mistake, we have an abysmal record away at the other big clubs. We simply cannot beat them, whether it’s under Roberto Martinez (barring one Manchester United victory), Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce or even David Unsworth. So far, Mr Marco Silva is 0-for-2. Granted, Chelsea probably are the last team of the list that I’d fancy our chances against at some sort of renaissance where we begin to play the football we want to against the teams we’ve never been able to. But, there have been more encouraging signs since the last time out against Manchester United, and the win against Brighton was our most complete performance of the season.
However, there should be no illusions about the fact that Chelsea Football Club are not Brighton and Hove Albion. It is not going to be anything similar to what we saw last week at Goodison.
I always usually write off three games a season as absolute losses and feel no sadness when we lose them.
The two Derbies, and away at Stamford Bridge.
GK - Jordan Pickford
It’s certainly not going to be a case of two saves in 90 minutes for Pickford again like it was last time out.
RB - Séamus Coleman
I’ve been very much on the side of, ‘until Séamus proves once again why he should be back in the side, I’m always going to lean for Jonjoe Kenny.’ Last weekend, Séamus proved why he should be back in the side with a passion-filled display much like his return game last season.
CB - Michael Keane
The England International (which I can very happily say again as of this morning’s England squad announcement.) has been resurgent this season, putting his name amongst Lucas Digne, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Richarlison for the potential Player of the Season award come May.
Without his partner-in-crime Kurt Zouma, Michael Keane will have to come to an understanding with…
CB - Yerry Mina
Yerry made his full debut in the mid-week friendly against Gor Mahia and he seems certain to make his full competitive debut this Sunday afternoon. I would’ve much preferred him to have played from the off against Brighton last time out to gain an understanding with Michael Keane but he’ll be undergoing the baptism by fire this weekend at Stamford Bridge.
LB - Lucas Digne
Much of the same sentiment for Michael Keane applies to Lucas Digne. He has been the signing of the summer for Marcel Brands and Silva and has been our most consistent performer.
The transition from Leighton Baines to himself couldn’t have been smoother.
CM - Idrissa Gana Gueye
Idrissa Gana Gueye was entering Séamus Coleman territory of being picked because of his name, but much like the Captain, he has played himself back into my good books with recent performances.
He had his best game in an Everton shirt last week against Brighton (and considering his early 2016 form, that’s a bold statement) and will need a similarly dominant outing to keep Chelsea at bay.
CM - André Gomes
Similarly to Michael Keane (who’s getting a fair bit of love this week), André Gomes is once again an international player. But our focus remains solely on watching our dreamboat boss the play down in London come Sunday.
Much like Lucas Digne’s occupation of the left-back spot, André Gomes has made the midfield maestro role his own in record time.
AM - Gylfi Sigurdsson
There isn’t much to add to Sigurdsson at this point. He’s the talisman the team is built around in that ever-important #10 role and it will remain that way as long as Gylfi retains current performance levels, which don’t show any sign of slowing down.
LW - Bernard
I don’t know why there has been calls for Bernard to be dropped recently.
Stop being weird.
RW - Ademola Lookman
Theo Walcott has been lacklustre recently, where he needed to step up as to cancel out the building hype for Ademola Lookman.
He hasn’t, so it’s time to give Lookman his chance.
Marco Silva clearly sees the future with Richarlison as Everton’s striker.
And after last Saturday afternoon, I can finally understand why. The Brazilian put in his best performance since he has been moved centrally and he showed some attributes of being a top-quality striker.
Now comes another big test however.