Everton beat Chelsea 2-1 a week or so ago at Goodison Park but we beat AC Milan 2-3 in Milan on Tuesday. That means in all probability, we should be in the right frame of mind and gear to take all three points on Merseyside this Saturday lunchtime.
It's an early kick-off so we have another opportunity to leap frog Chelsea--this time by two points. That means if results go our way this weekend, we will be official table leaders with same number of games played. We're heading into March so we should be looking at that and then trying to build a lead at the top.
At the moment, we're in such great form that I no longer care who is next. Unfortunately, as I've time and time again blogged here, football has a way of kicking you in the teeth when you least expect it. United could have easily suffered a humiliating defeat in Italy had Milan punished at least two of our several defensive lapses. The thing is we can't keep making those mistakes and getting away with them. Someone will punish us and a side like Everton knows all too well how to do that---Chelsea paid dearly for every blunder they made.
Chelsea seem to be in that sort of form that, whilst not bad, is neither good either. We need to capitalise. Taking the table leadership from them on weekend when their minds are on the Blue half of Milan is cranking up the pressure! Extending that lead or taking it away from them again on Tuesday whilst they play Inter is cranking up the pressure. We could head into the Carling Cup final next week when we are a couple of points clear in the league. We certainly have the opportunity. The thing about this final third of the season is that every game is as important as the next and the one before. It can therefore be difficult to keep up but I guess our players have been AWOL for pretty much the whole season to complain. It's just three months of football left and yet this is the first time in the season that we are completely confident in our players.
Sir Alex will change the team a bit from that which beat Milan. Ferdinand is suspended so Brown returns alongside Vida. Nani is suspended so Valencia comes in at right wing. Berbatov is most likely to start i a 4-4-2 (my mind tells me he'll go 4-5-1 again). Giggs is out injured. That means we could get to see Gabriel Obertan at some stage in the game. We've got another league game in midweek but given the setting, this is likely to be more difficult.
We only managed a point there last season so hopefully we can do better this time round. Expect the obvious reception Wayne has always got from the Everton fans. Loius Saha will not hesitate to pull the trigger if we let him and then someone needs to mark London Donovan. This guy is a snake. He glides from defence into your penalty box with so much ease. He has an eye for goal as well. Keeping him quiet could be the difference between winning this match and not.