Behind Enemy Lines - Chelsea
A Chelsea fan and journalist look ahead to Saturday's game.
Everton travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday looking to preserve the longest unbeaten away run at Chelsea of any of the current top-flight sides.
David Moyes' team are unbeaten at the Bridge in their last five league visits and are looking to extend that run and bounce back from consecutive defeats against Manchester City and Liverpool.
Chelsea have quietly positioned themselves just behind Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League, so how has their season gone so far? We asked the Fulham Chronicle's Dan Levene and supporter Chris Archibald as we go Behind Enemy Lines.
No Way Jose
Chelsea fan Chris Archibald describes the summer appointment of 33-year old Andre Villas Boas as an 'exciting gamble'.
Arriving from Porto after leading them to Europa League glory last season, comparisons between him and one of his predecessors, Jose Mourinho, were bound to arise.
Villas Boas had even worked under Mourinho at Chelsea but, according to reporter Dan Levene, there are some striking differences between the pair.
"He's learning as he goes along but I don't think the age is that significant - a lot of people have mentioned it because you don't get many 33-year-old managers," he explained.
"But he seems to have made a sure start in terms of tactics and the way he's approached the games.
“The one thing he isn't is the new Mourinho, he's very, very different in terms of personality, attitude to the game, tactics and the way he deals with the media and players - it's certainly exciting times."
Allow Him To Be Frank
Much of Chelsea's recent success has been based upon a solid spine with the likes of Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba mainstays in the the West London club's line-up.
But Lampard has recently been restricted to a role off the bench before scoring a hat-trick in Chelsea's 5-1 hammering of Bolton a fortnight ago.
Villas Boas made it clear from the start that there may be more rotation than in previous seasons, and Archibald says it is important to trust the new manager’s beliefs.
"Frank Lampard is now 33 and you can't expect him to play in every game - Chelsea could have as many as 60 matches this season," he said.
"Supporters have been saying for a while now that they would like to see the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Josh McEachran given a chance, and giving Frank a break gives Chelsea the chance to do that.
"The likes of Lampard and Terry won't be around forever and we need to be ready for when they eventually call it a day."
By Royal Appointment
Few men have enjoyed as much success against Chelsea as Louis Saha - the Frenchman's goal in the FA Cup fourth round tie at Goodison Park last season was his ninth career goal against them.
Saha has yet to find the net this season, but Levene believes Chelsea's high defensive line could help the former Manchester United man kickstart his campaign.
"Every time we play Everton, every Chelsea fan is desperate not to see Saha's name on the teamsheet because he has such a great record against them," he said.
"I think a lot of it is the way he plays, he always seems to have a blinder not just against Chelsea but against a lot of the top teams.
"I do expect that if he plays on Saturday he's got a very good chance of finding the scoresheet, Chelsea play a very high defensive line and that is vulnerable to a player like Saha.
"If we've conceded goals it will be from Saha getting through a gap or from a set piece."