Everton vs Chelsea
The late kick-off on Saturday sees Chelsea face Everton in a game that possesses many sub-plots. Everton’s new strike force consists of two players who will be desperate to prove a point as both Samuel Eto’o and Romelu Lukaku will be seeking to impress against former manager Jose Mourinho. Chelsea will be looking to continue their winning start to the season, but will likely face their toughest test yet.
Phil Jagielka has managed the sixth most clearances in the Premier League thus far – with 21, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Everton captain is likely to add to that this weekend when he’ll be occupied by the wealth of attacking talent that Chelsea possess including Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
Despite operating primarily as a holding midfielder, Gareth Barry still has the ability to be effective further up the pitch, ranking tenth in the entire division for passes in the opposition half, managing 64 in total – which also places him first amongst the rest of his squad, as per the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Stephen Naismith could prove to be an important figure on Saturday evening against Chelsea, and his tireless approach may be invaluable in pressing high up the pitch, with the Scotsman covering the most distance of any forward this season, clocking up a cumulative 24.4km over the course of the first two games.
The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows Chelsea winger Eden Hazard to have strengthened his commanding lead as the top dribbler in the Premier League, having completed a total of 14 successful dribbles this season, 6 more than anyone else in the league. He is certain to provide a stern test for in-form right back Seamus Coleman.
Spanish playmaker Cesc Fábregas has settled into life at Chelsea seamlessly, recording the fourth most passes in the opposition half out of any Premier League player so far this season with 87. It is important for Everton to cut him out of the game in order to prevent supply to the Chelsea front-line if they are to achieve a result this Saturday as the playmaker already has three assists in two games, the most in the league.
John Terry has made more defensive contributions than any other player in the Chelsea squad. The Blues’ captain has won four tackles, made 20 clearances and three interceptions in the first two games – and former Chelsea boys Lukaku and Eto’o face a tough task this Sunday if they are to break down the Chelsea defender.