Feb 102015

1. Can Romelu Lukaku finally bag a goal at Chelsea?

Given that the Belgian striker has been out on loan in previous seasons he’s never been able to play against parent club Chelsea.

Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku

During his time with the Londoners, Everton’s £28million record signing made 12 first team appearances but never scored.

Out of these matches, eight were at Stamford Bridge but he only ever played a full game once – the entire 120 minutes of a goalless League Cup tie with neighbours Fulham that Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties.

In total, Lukaku has played 305 minutes of football at Stamford Bridge, broken down into segments of 7 minutes, 120 minutes, 18 minutes, 62 minutes, 2 minutes, 54 minutes, 15 minutes and 25 minutes which when divided up equals just over three full matches.

A fair crack of the whip on home turf? Evertonians won’t be concerned, he’s their player now and despite the team’s poor season overall so far he has 10 goals in total so far

2. A (Stamford) Bridge too far?

David Moyes infamously never won an away match in 46 attempts against either Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United or Arsenal – the nearest he came to this was a penalty shoot-out victory in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge in 2011.

Chelsea FC v Everton FC at Stamford Bridge. Everton's David Moyes waves to the Everton fans after the Premiership match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Chelsea FC v Everton FC at Stamford Bridge. Everton’s David Moyes waves to the Everton fans after the Premiership match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Roberto Martinez famously overcame this hoodoo with his first attempt – ironically a 1-0 win at Old Trafford of Moyes’ Manchester United in December 2013 – but he hasn’t repeated the trick since.

Everton haven’t beaten Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for over 20 years since Paul Rideout gave them victory there in Joe Royle’s first away game in November 1994 but if Bradford City can catch Jose Mourinho’s side, albeit an understrength one, off guard then surely the Blues have a chance. After all even Sunderland won there last season.

3. Keeping it clean – another shut out?

After not keeping a clean sheet in their previous 12 matches, Everton’s increasingly mean defence have now managed three on the trot.

John Stones in action against Celta Vigo John Stones in action against Celta Vigo

Credit must go to the centre-back pairing of England internationals John Stones and captain Phil Jagielka – the Blues haven’t lost so far this season when this pair have both played 90 minutes – and understudy goalkeeper Joel Robles who after a shaky start is starting to look a bit more assured.

Given that Chelsea hit Martinez’s men for six in that crazy nine-goal thriller at Goodison Park on August 30, Everton’s back line will be even more determined to put on a good show this time out.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.

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