Chelsea must overcome Pep Guardiola trick as Arsenal example made for Graham Potter


Sean Dyche has laid his plan for beating Chelsea on Saturday bare on the table. The new Everton boss already has a win over Mikel Arteta and Arsenal under his wings at Goodison Park and now wants to add Graham Potter to that. The Blues are coming into the game off the back of three wins in a row, the first time that has happened since October, as they aim to enter the international break in form.

It's a scenario that seemed almost impossible just two weeks ago. Now Potter is in the quarter-finals of the Champions League and has a squad full of returning stars to rely on. The expectation is that he and his side catapult Everton right back into the quagmire of the relegation fight this season.

Dyche's men are 15th but just one swing of results away from the bottom of the table, such is the condensed nature of the league in the bottom half. Potter, meanwhile, hasn't been able to move Chelsea out of 10th despite a brief upturn in form. With no league wins at Stamford Bridge since 1994, Everton and well and truly underdogs for the match but that is something Dyche believes his team can use to their advantage.

Eventually those records are there to be broken. I’ve had so many down the years as a player, as a coach and as a manager. "At the end of the day they are there to be changed, it's as simple as that but you've got to work to change them. You hope it happens but you have got to make it happen. For three of our games so far people have said to me ‘we never win there or we never beat them.’ It seems every other game it’s a case of ‘our record there is terrible.’

“Right okay. For me it’s a great opportunity when the stats are in your favour because at some point these things change and now it’s all about working hard to make them change.” His side, who replaced Chelsea legend Frank Lampard at the helm in January, have themselves showed a new side in recent weeks. He's looking to the top of the league for inspiration though and has cited Manchester City of proof of how to go about the business when it gets tough.

“Pep Guardiola knows 95 per cent when his guys are on form they are probably going to win," Dyche said. "What about when they are not? Can they find a 1-0? They are the things that bring you big successes. Pep will know that. Sir Alex knew it. When you win 4-0 they are a top side who have delivered a performance. What about the scrappy, the ugly, the awkward?

“They are the ones. Can you find a win there? That is a great mentality to have and that’s why managers love a 1-0. Not because they are boring or exciting. Managers deep down know that when you play really well you look after yourself. If you are having a quiet day or the opposition are playing well, can you find a result out of those ones?"

Chelsea themselves have been criticised for not getting enough results despite some positive performances along the way and it's the same for Everton as they look to get the better of the Blues in their own back yard. 

"The big teams find a moment," he explained. "I remember our first season up, I was watching Hull play Arsenal. Hull had been excellent and we went to give the team talk. When we came back in they were 3-0 down and we were like ‘what happened there?’ That is what big teams do.

“They look like they are not at it and then bop, bop, bop they find a moment. They are the results that look after you in the bigger picture. When you are playing really well you get a result. Can you find the one-nils, the points out of nowhere?”

Those points may well be more meaningful for Everton at this stage of the season than for Chelsea but it doesn't mean that the game will be any easier. There is still hope of some form of European qualification at Stamford Bridge and riding the wave of momentum will be key for Potter and his men, even if they are fighting against Dyche's Guardiola inspired team.

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