PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: EVERTON V CHELSEA - PART TWO
Completing their build-up to this tea-time's visit to Goodison Park, club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton look back and forward…
WE HAVE HISTORY
Last season's Blues win at Goodison Park was our first there in the Premier League since April 2008, when a first-half Michael Essien knock-in from close quarters secured the three points. The 2-1 win last Christmas ended a run of three successive Everton league wins, although we were victorious there in the Carling Cup in 2011.
On a Wednesday afternoon in mid-April 1948, 28,000 spectators were present for a 6.30pm kick-off to see the London hue of blue triumph. Before Christmas half as many again had watched the Londoners cuff the Toffees 3-1 but Billy Birrell wanted more consistency and the great Roy Bentley had arrived since then.
It had not been an explosive start for the Bristolian, who had managed just two goals in 11 matches. Perhaps his handling since arriving from Newcastle could have been more sensitive - he was played in three of the five forward positions as another arrival, Hugh Billington, hogged the 9 shirt.
It was at inside-right, not elusive centre-forward, that Roy hit the third of his 150 goals for Chelsea in a courageous 3-2 win on Merseyside, the second two-point haul in five days, as any fear Birrell had of relegation evaporated.
The Toffees had ended Manchester United's title challenge at the weekend with a 2-0 win, but remained stoically mid-table. The death penalty had been abolished in the UK the day before but perhaps Birrell would have asked for it back when his defence allowed bit-part right-winger William Higgins to triple his tally for the season with a brace before half-time.
The fact the two sides went in level was down to Bentley, who opened the scoring for the Blues, and a man at the end of his debut season, Glaswegian winger Bobby Campbell (pictured below). The game eventually edged Chelsea's way thanks to 'Ace of Hearts' Tommy Walker, a silky-skilled inside-left. The win was Chelsea's first at Everton since the same 3-2 scoreline had been registered in April 1922.
Our last 10 league meetings at Goodison Park
2003/04 - Chelsea won 1-0
2004/05 - Chelsea won 1-0
2005/06 - Drew 1-1
2006/07 - Chelsea won 3-2
2007/08 - Chelsea won 1-0
2008/09 - Drew 0-0
2009/10 - Everton won 2-1
2010/11 - Everton won 1-0
2011/12 - Everton won 2-0
2012/13 - Chelsea won 2-1
Other fixture last season
19 May 2013 Barclays Premier League
Mata 7 Naysmith 14
Chelsea v Everton in all competitions
Games played 168
Chelsea wins 65
Everton wins 51
Head to head in the league at Goodison Park
Games played 74
Chelsea wins 16
Everton wins 36
Biggest league win at Goodison Park for each team
Everton 6-0 Chelsea - 29/04/1978
Everton 0-3 Chelsea - 01/04/1908 and 13/10/1956
Chelsea lost an away game in the Premier League: 168
Everton lost at home in the Premier League: 258
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,038
Liverpool won the league: 8,533
How much that drove Everton was mentality instilled and reinforced by David Moyes during his 11-year stay? New ideas, tactics, relationships are always liable to dislodge some mortar from the settled walls of a fortress.
Chelsea have started games with intensity under Jose Mourinho, pressing opponents in the final third, especially those required to play the ball out from the back.
It is too early to judge who the winners and losers are under new coach Roberto Martinez. Already, though, Everton's build-up appears more patient than before and their game far more possession-hungry. Crucially the pivotal player under Moyes, Marouane Fellaini, has moved on to Old Trafford.
Chelsea's on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku, who will no doubt provide the firepower the new manager felt was lacking (with centre-forward Victor Anichebe departing after 15 years at Goodison), is ineligible for this one.
The absence of his fellow Belgium international, Fellaini, all elbows, height and hair, may also be felt. With his chest like an landing strip he was habitually the man to whom long passes from the back were directed, his shielding bringing others into the fray and allowing him to dictate play at his own pace.
Fellaini, for all his influence, was not the flexible, pressing, ball-retaining midfielder Martinez tends to favour and his frequent fouls caused problems. Chelsea's attacking midfield trio, whoever plays, have rapid mobility and vision that might have troubled the Belgian more than his replacements.
Deadline day loan signing Gareth Barry may also lack pace but at his best he has shown good movement, passing and tactical awareness. Likewise £13m may seem steep for James McCarthy (albeit less than half the Fellaini fee) but the versatile, two-footed Ireland international fitted the Spaniard's system perfectly at the DW Stadium. Teenager Ross Barkley has also earned plaudits while Darron Gibson has been ruled out of the Toffees' line-up.
Thirty-two-year-old Barry, who has not played for Man City this season, or Barkley is likely to partner Leon Osman as defensive screen in midfield. Long-serving Phil Neville retired in the summer.
Last time out Martinez fielded a 4-2-3-1 formation with Nikica Jelavić (pictured below), then more orthodox centre-forward Arouna Koné, at the point. Koné is one of three recruits from Martínez's former club, Wigan, and hit 11 goals in 34 matches for the relegated side. Jelavić, this season's most offside forward, has scored once in the league in 2013.
Martinez's attacking preference is to avoid the congested centre route and attempt to outnumber and isolate full-backs down the flanks. When they are successful, teammates flood the centre for a chance to threaten goal. Lukaku, with his pace and power, is perfect for breaking behind a central defence and dispatching chances with head or foot.
With Lukaku out of the game, the key area of concern for Chelsea will be by far the biggest source of Everton attacks, full-back Leighton Baines and wide midfielder Steven Pienaar on the left. The two link effectively and under Moyes were generally looking to cut in towards the heart of the opposition defence. The South African has scored in his last two games at Goodison against Chelsea and his raiding presence may force Mourinho's hand on who plays right of the three and at right-back.
However both Everton full-backs can be suspect defensively and although Martinez usually requires one of his flankers to stay back it is not always the case at the moment. Chelsea will hope to exploit these areas and get in behind the rearguard, something Norwich targeted in their 2-2 opening day draw. Four times African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o trained with his new teammates this week. Demba Ba and Fernando Torres will also press their case for a start.
With a combined age of 66, Everton's preferred centre-back pairing of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin provide the main presence at set-plays at both ends now that Fellaini has gone. So far they contributed towards two clean sheets in three league matches and just five shots on target - reminiscent of Moyes's safety-first approach. With Chelsea's strength at set-pieces already bringing two goals this season, it remains to be seen whether Martinez's Toffees will remain as hard to crack.