We Have No Fear, Says Boss

Ronald Koeman insists Everton will head to Stamford Bridge with no fear when they take on Chelsea on Sunday.

Antonio Conte’s reigning Premier League champions began the 2017/18 season with a shock 3-2 defeat to Burnley on home soil, before registering their first points of the campaign with a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley last weekend.

The Toffees failed to take any points from their two league meetings with Chelsea last term but Koeman says his side can take confidence from Burnley’s display in the capital.

“I wasn’t in shock because that is the nature of the Premier League - even the champions can lose at home,” said Koeman. “If Burnley can have a good result there, then so can we and other teams in the league.

“Of course, they had a big reaction to that defeat when they played Tottenham but this is a different game and a different opponent and we will fight for the points.

“Chelsea are strong at home and you need to be at your best to get a good result but they also know that we can be strong. Okay, we did not win any points there last season, but we hope to change that this time."

The game against Chelsea will be Everton’s third in a week, following a 1-1 away draw at Manchester City on Monday and a trip to Croatia to face Hajduk Split in the Europa League on Thursday.

And while acknowledging the physical demands of such a busy schedule, Koeman says his must utilise the momentum gained from recent results.

“I think we lost control a little bit in the second half against Manchester City but we learned from that,” he added. “We like to control the game. Even in difficult times during the game, we like to keep the ball and have good possession to make the opponents tired.

“It has been a busy week for us. On one side it’s easy because we’ve had good results - we got one point against Manchester City and reached the group stage of the Europa League. It’s always easier to prepare the team when you are successful.

"But it’s tough in a physical way, because we travelled back from Croatia on Friday morning and we’ll be travelling to London on Saturday. We also have the early kick-off time (1.30pm) on Sunday.

“We knew before that it was going to be tough and some injuries have made it more difficult, but we’re still at the start of the season and we will manage.”

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