Martinez does not believe Chelsea's decline is terminal
Published 11/09/2015 | 13:39
Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes talk of a Chelsea crisis has been over-hyped.
The defending champions arrive at Goodison Park on Saturday on the back of a rare home defeat to Crystal Palace before the international break which has left them with just four points from as many matches.
There has been much debate about how a number of Jose Mourinho's key players are under-performing but Martinez insists it is only a matter of time before they kick into gear again - he just hopes it is not against his side.
"It is only four games into the season so if you want to make an assessment it will not have a lot of substance," he said.
"They have not lost any of their top performers from last season, they won the league by a clear distance, and I expect to see this side competing for every trophy they were competing for last season.
"What you can say about this team is that they haven't reached that winning momentum they had last season - that is obvious.
"You can have the same players and same way of playing but you need to develop that momentum and that comes with good results.
"Their four games this season - apart from Manchester City away from home - it has been about small margins.
"I expect a very strong Chelsea team with the right approach hitting the heights that they had last season when they won the league comfortably.
"I don't think there is a big difference - we just need to make sure they don't develop momentum against us."
A little more than 12 months ago Chelsea won 6-3 in a game full of attacking intent but Martinez does not envisage a repeat performance.
"I do expect for it to be a bit of a different encounter," he added.
"Off the back of an international break it will be less of an open game but the make-up of the two sides is the same."
One new face from last season's encounter will be Aaron Lennon, who joined Everton on a three-year deal on transfer deadline day after a successful loan spell from January.
He has not even played a pre-season game since his last appearance for the Toffees in mid-May after being frozen out at Tottenham but he is raring to go and is likely to get his chance against Chelsea.
"Just to be back playing is something I can't wait to do," said the England winger.
"I've trained the last six or seven weeks now and not played games.
"I've not played any pre-season friendlies. You train all week to play a game at the end of it but that's how it's gone.
"I've done extra training but there is not much more I could have done."