Lukaku to go bonkers: Three things we expect from Everton in clash v Chelsea
Comment by Russell Edge
Everton host Chelsea on Sunday knowing that their performance could play a major part in the Premier League title race.
However, the Toffees will not be thinking about what is happening at the top of the table when they step out on to the Goodison Park pitch.
Instead, they will have their own targets in mind, most notably leapfrogging Arsenal and putting themselves well within reach of the top five with a win.
Chelsea meanwhile know they have to keep their impressive form up, with an equally impressive Tottenham set to be breathing down their neck if the Blues were to falter at this stage of the title race.
With this in mind, here are three things to expect from the Toffees when they take on Chelsea:
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Lukaku out to prove a point
Everton contract rebel Romelu Lukaku has been one of the stand-out strikers of the season, having hit 24 goals to head the top scorers list this campaign.
This impressive goal scoring rate has caused a few clubs to begin to circle Goodison Park with a view to stealing the Belgium star, including Lukaku’s former side and Sunday’s visitors Chelsea.
The Blues let the big Belgian striker depart Stamford Bridge in 2014 after a successful loan spell with the Toffees, but it seems that they might be wanting to snatch back Everton’s prize asset.
With this transfer plot set to take place over the summer, fans can expect to see Lukaku on top of his game to prove to his former side what they missed out on by letting him go, and what they, and any other potential suitors watching, could have by signing the 23-year-old.
Finally, in a marquee match, it will be time Romelu goes goal bonkers.
In a game likely to feature Diego Costa and Lukaku, the fans are not going to be watching for a demonstration of a defensive masterclass.
Despite Everton’s outstanding home record, having tasted defeat just once in a 1-0 to local rivals Liverpool, both sides are likely to be able to give the fans what they want; goals.
Chelsea have scored eight goals in their last two games, while Everton will be looking to bounce back to their attacking best after a dour 0-0 with West Ham last weekend.
Plus, with both Costa and Lukaku on the hunt for the golden boot, they will be instructing their sides to create some quality chances for them to score from, which ought to provide real entertainment.
Fans who know they are going to miss the opening minutes of the match need not worry, as it will be unlikely they will have missed very much.
Both sides have a tendency to start off at a pedestrian pace, Everton having only scored four goals in the opening 15 minutes of their matches this season.
They instead have a tendency to leave it late, having scored over a third of their goals in the final fifteen minutes.
It could prove to be a nervy end for Antonio Conte and his side if the scores are level as the clock reaches 90 minutes.
- Football Insider verdict: Everton 3 – 3 Chelsea
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees have been installed as favourites to sign a Premier League proven goalkeeper.