Everton v Chelsea: International break to be a blessing for the hosts


The last time Chelsea had such a bad start to a Premier League season, John Terry would have been mulling over the impending prospect of his GCSEs

In fact their three point return from their opening quartet of games in the 1995-96 season is only the fourth time in the Chelsea skipper’s lifetime that they have made a poorer start to the campaign than this time round.

Jose Mourinho will be desperate to right that wrong against Everton with the Blues’ title defence already in the balance, Ladbrokes pushing their Premier League odds out from 11/8 to 6/1 in the last six weeks.

While they were 6-3 victors on their trip to Goodison Road last season, their recent form in the blue half of Merseyside isn’t that great, tasting defeat on four of their last six visits.

The Toffees meanwhile have made a steady start to the season with a win and two draws putting them in ninth place.

An international break can be seen as a hindrance for some managers, with the risk of key players picking up injuries.

But Roberto Martinez will do well to embrace the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign as it seems to bring out the best in one of his stars on his return.

Romelu Lukaku hasn’t netted in his last five caps for Belgium, instead appearing to savour that goalscoring nous for his return to his club side.

GettyImages.486364070Since joining Everton, Lukaku has left for international duty on eight separate occasions, more often than not returning with a bang.

He has scored six goals in his first game back for Everton after representing the Red Devils, but the pattern goes back even further than that.

During his season at West Brom he netted four times in the five games directly after an international, taking his tally to 10 in 13.

With a price of 6/1 available on him continuing that form and breaking the deadlock in Saturday’s feature could tempt, but bear in mind that only one of those 10 strikes have been the first in the match.

Instead the 9/4 on him bagging anytime and showing Jose Mourinho what he let go looks a better option, as the powerful frontman continues to prove that he doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase jet-lag.

For the even more optimistic, why not take 6/1 on Everton maintaining their strong home form against the lacklustre Londoners with their number 10 getting on the scoresheet?

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.