On Saturday evening Everton will be welcoming the challenge of high-flying Chelsea but with a difference.
That difference being they will have a blue army of 2,000 backing them through the 90 minutes.
It’ll be the first game that any Everton fans have been able to attend since the game at Stamford Bridge last season which Chelsea won 4-0 so it would seem that we have gone full cycle.
The last game at the old famous stadium though fans will remember very well and probably still get fuming at.
It was the 1-1 against Manchester United which ended up with possibly the most furious Goodison Park with Sigurdsson being deemed as offside ruling out a last-minute winner.
Also, it was the game that Carlo Ancelotti won Everton fans over, if he hadn’t already, with his passion for the project after going up and being livid with the referee Chris Kavanagh who ridiculously sent him off.
Now fans are back and ready to get behind the Italian more than ever.
“It will be nice for everyone. It’s a good start to reopen the stadium, it will be really good and really nice. I’m sure they are going to support us for the game tomorrow” said Ancleotti.
In the press conference for the game, he confirmed that some players will be missing for the encounter.
Fabian Delph who pulled his hamstring against Burnley has been ruled out and Seamus Coleman is still not fully fit.
The big one though is James Rodriguez who will not be involved against Frank Lampard’s side after not training all week due to a knock he picked up against Burnley and the Colombian will be assessed before the Leicester City game.
Due to this there could be a change in style for Everton which is what Ancelotti hinted at in his press conference saying: “James is a fantastic player for us, he did really well at the beginning and had some problems after the game against Liverpool.
“But we have to be, and we will be, able to adapt. We have a good squad, we are going to play a little bit different.”
So, what will the difference be?
Well, no James means that there is no first-choice front three and realistically Everton don’t have anyone else really capable of playing the James Rodriguez inverted winger role so it could be the catalyst to a different shape at the top of the pitch.
Ancelotti may have to throw it back to when he first started at Everton with a solid 4-4-2 formation with the two leading the line being Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
It could come across as a defensive set up but against the free flowing attacking Chelsea side it could be the way to go.
Evertonians can probably all agree that the three at the back is not the way to go with Everton not looking great whilst using that system but if Ancelotti feels like it gives his side more defensive security due to the extra centre back then do not be surprised to see that system on Saturday evening.
Chelsea have looked like they themselves have been a tough nut to crack so if a win is on the mind of Ancelotti, he will need his star players to step up, most notably Richarlison but if the Everton backline can stop the likes of Timo Werner, Olivier Giroud and co they will be given heaps of praise.
If Chelsea win, they will go back top of the league which is obviously were Ancelotti led them in 2010 and he will certainly have good memories about the club, but he won’t want to be giving them any early Christmas presents when they leave Goodison Park.
The only presents he will want to be giving out is three points to those 2,000 lucky ones.
Written by Elliot Thompson