Analysis

FLIP’s FA Cup Picks: Everton vs Chelsea

Written by Sam Hopkinson

Roberto Martinez is coming under more and more scrutiny as the season goes on. His side are capable of playing scintillating football but all too often have been exposed and beaten. The loss to West Ham, despite being 2-0 up at one point, raised the volume on a disgruntled fanbase. Martinez has always managed to sound cheerful in adversity, but his positivity is starting to sound like delusion. The Toffees are too low in the table with the quality they have. Chelsea aren’t setting the world alight either, and with Diego Costa injured and Pato still not match-ready, look light up front. Everton have an advantage here, but can they use it?

DEFENDER

John Stones

Stones won’t be sorry his move to Chelsea never materialised in the summer, but he won’t be satisfied in mid-table with the Toffees when teams like Barcelona are keeping tabs on him. The young defender hasn’t been at his best since Christmas though, and with his side in the doldrums there are question marks over whether he has the strength of character to keep giving his best. Jagielka’s experience isn’t covering over the gaps, and Chelsea are likely to score in this match. Perhaps Stones will up his game with a potential new employer watching him closely.

MIDFIELDER

Willian

The only Chelsea player worth anything this season, Willian has been a consistent performer as the Blues have taken a fall. Unfortunately for Chelsea the Brazilian isn’t the type of player to take a game by the scruff of the neck and win it for his side—he is much more of a team player, working incredibly hard for 90 minutes. It is telling that the stand out performer at Stamford Bridge has just 4 league goals. It won’t have passed this side’s attention that the FA Cup is a chance to regain some lost respect.

STRIKER

Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian superstar will not be at Everton next season—he is a player that offers too much not to be playing in the Champions League, and the Toffees aren’t even close. The latest rumours actually have Chelsea making an attempt to resign their former player, although Everton are likely to ask for double what they paid. Lukaku did make a costly miss against West Ham though, and will be keen to set things right and show Chelsea what they’ve been missing.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Gary Cahill

If Cahill is to represent England in the summer, he needs to do better than the display against PSG. Chelsea were outclassed on home turf by the Paris giants, and the Blues defenders had no answer to Ibrahimovic. The Swede cut right through them and Lukaku will look to emulate that feat this weekend.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn’t have football, he’d probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.