In Form Naismith To Put The Toffees In FrontStats
Everton v Chelsea
Chelsea travel to Merseyside to take on Everton as Jose Mourinho’s side attempt to maintain their 100 per cent record intact at Goodison Park.
Everton began their season with a trip to Leicester as they kicked off their season with a 2-2 draw at the Walkers Stadium. A wonderful Aiden McGeady goal gave the Toffees a 20th minute lead before Leonardo Ulloa levelled the scores on his debut, Steven Naismith then scored on the stroke of half-time to give the visitors the lead going in at half-time but a late strike by Chris Wood six minutes from full-time earned the Foxes a point.
It was the same scoreline when Arsenal visited Goodison Park last weekend although Roberto Martinez will be disappointed that his side couldn’t take all three points after Seamus Coleman and Naismith had put them into a 2-0 lead. The Merseysiders lead was surrendered in the last seven minutes though as Aaron Ramsey and substitute Olivier Giroud salvaged a draw for the Gunners.
The Blues kicked-off their campaign with a 3-1 victory at Turf Moor over newly-promoted Burnley. Scott Arfield gave the Clarets an early lead but Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic all got on the scoresheet later in the first half to give Chelsea a winning start, with Cesc Fabregas running the show from midfield and claiming assists for two of his side’s three goals.
A 2-0 win over another promoted club – Championship winners Leicester City – came next when a very laboured Chelsea performance in the first half saw the teams go in level at the break but was remedied in the second period as Costa and Eden Hazard struck for the hosts to give them six points from six available.
Steven Pienaar is out with a groin problem for the hosts as the South African playmaker joins long term injury victims Ross Barkley, Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone on the sidelines. There is also a doubt over Romelu Lukaku as the Belgian striker has an ankle problem. New arrival Samuel Eto’o could make his debut for Everton against his former club.
Mourinho was dealt a significant blow when Costa suffered a hamstring injury in midweek although the severity of the injury is as yet unknown, although the Spanish international striker is expected to miss out here at the very least. Schurrle is also a doubt with a calf problem although he may still take part while there are no other injury problems for the Chelsea boss to deal with.
Both sides were 1-0 winners on their own grounds last season as Naismith scored the winner at Goodison Park last September before Frank Lampard gave the Blues all three points at Stamford Bridge with a last minute winner. The Blues won four of the five meetings prior to last season while…
Naismith has scored in two of his last three appearances against the Londoners.
Everton were very impressive for the most part last weekend against Arsenal but tired badly towards the end of the game to let their opponents back in so there are big positive and negative factors to consider.
Chelsea will miss the penetration Costa offers badly although they should be more than capable of getting on the scoreboard regardless so the 20/23 on both teams scoring looks the most worthwhile of the bets here. Naismith is in great form and has enjoyed facing the Blues in the past so 8/1 on the Scot scoring first is tempting while the 12/5 for him to score at any stage is also enticing.