Chelsea take on Everton, in what has become a crucial quest for three points, for both clubs, at the Bridge on Saturday afternoon. The two sets of Blues supporters will be craving success after a disastrous November, Chelsea have amassed four points out of a possible fifteen, whilst Everton have fared even worse, with a total of three points out of their five games.
The good news, on the personnel front, is the return of Captain John Terry and midfield powerhouse, Michael Essien. Essien will be champing at the bit, after a three match suspension; he also missed a fourth match against Zelina with a toe injury. The return of Captain Fantastic, JT, will allow Ancelotti to send defender Alex to the operating theatre for overdue knee surgery. The line-up will therefore be Cech, behind a back four of Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry and Cole, a midfield trio of Mikel, Essien and Ramires and a familiar three pronged attack of Malouda, Drogba and Anelka.
The ‘true Scousers’ will have to do battle without midfield maestro Arteta, but will welcome back the ‘sixth member of the Jackson Five’ Fellaini returning from suspension. Ex England man Philip Neville is also expected to return after a spell on the treatment table.
Although Everton have faltered lately, they will take heart from their recent form against the current Champions. They have not lost at Stamford Bridge since 2006! Everton pose a serious areal threat as we discovered from last year’s three all draw in the corresponding fixture.
So, will Chelsea lack the bite to overcome this sticky toffee challenge? A resounding NO! I expect Chelsea to score early and make good use of over whelming possession. This will only go one way and Chelsea will celebrate, in style, on Saturday and get our challenge, to retain the title, firmly back on track. We have a difficult run of fixtures coming up and this victory will get the adrenaline and confidence flowing, once again. Drogba is due some luck and Everton will not cope with him. He has been lacklustre following his bout of malaria but has shown signs of returning to form, at just the right time.
We also expect Super Frank back soon and we may see a cameo on Saturday. He may just get a few minutes to replace the returning Essien. Therein lies the key to victory. Essien has become crucial to us and is quite simply the best in the world, in his position. He controls matches in ways that Mikel and Ramires have yet to master.
Take it from me, Chelsea will win on Saturday, returning to top form and send out a message to the other contenders… form is temporary, class is permanent!