We interrupt this irregularly scheduled transfer insanity to bring you an important message. There is a game in a little over 12 hours! And yes, it's Chelsea! Whoa... what's happening here?
It turns out that just because the unthinkable has happened, and Chelsea managed to err... gift the greatest striker in the world to AC Milan, the universe has not reset, the Earth has not imploded, and football has not been canceled. I know, I know, I'm just as surprised as you are that the End of Days did not come to pass.
So here we stand, Torresless yet alive. Do you smell that? That's freedom, baby. Freedom! Or possibly Merseyside.
Date / Time: August 30, 2014, 17:30 BST; 12:30pm EDT; 10pm IST
Venue: Goodison Park, Liverpool, England
Referee: Jonathan Moss -- considering that 43-year-old Mr. Moss isn't regarded as one of the better Select Group referees, Chelsea have a surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly?) bad record with him in charge: just two wins from five. He was in charge of Mourinho's first game back in the league, the 2-0 against Hull City, but he also oversaw our 3-2 defeat at Stoke City. The season before, he had the distinct honor of seeing us draw 2-2 at Brentford, while we once again split the two Premier League matches under him. Mr. Moss is off to a card-happy start this season, having shown a red in each of his first two games in charge this year (to Jason Puncheon of Palace and to James Chester of Hull). So we best be on our best behaviour (*cough*Ramires*cough*).
Forecast: Morning showers, followed by a partly cloudy day and a cool, humid night.
On TV: Sky Sports 1 (UK); NBC, mun2 (USA); Star Sports 2 (India)
Everton Team News: The Toffees added to their complement of Chelsea-esque players this week by signing Samuel Eto'o, presumably because Romelu Lukaku missed the competition that the Old Man provides. Having spent the summer being ineffective and injured at the World Cup, then doing much of nothing, Eto'o may be eligible but perhaps not quite fit to face his old team. Similarly, Lukaku may not be fit either after stubbing his toe last weekend; though he'll be looking to prove a point, so I wouldn't bet against a full recovery just in time.
Long-term injury victims include Ross Barkley (MCL), Arouna Koné (knee), and Bryan Oviedo (broken leg), while Steven Pienaar still has a couple weeks to go to recover from his groin strain. On-loan Christian Atsu is ineligible.
Roberto Martinez's men have drawn both of their first two games 2-2, giving up the lead a grand total of three times, twice against Leicester and then allowing Arsenal to come back from two down. With Chelsea's defense also off to a slightly shaky start, no lead may be safe in this one.
View From the Enemy: Royal Blue Mersey
Chelsea Team News: Diego Costa has been declared fit to travel, but perhaps risking him just ahead of a two-week international break so early in the season isn't the smartest plan. Should he start on the bench, Didier Drogba or André Schürrle (who may also be facing a late fitness test due to the knock he picked up against Leicester City) are both viable options at center forward. My vote is for the man who once did this at Goodison:
Previously: Everton have been a bit of a bogey team for us in recent seasons. In fact, we've won just once in our last six trips to Goodison Park and the 1-0 reverse suffered in this fixture last season was our only loss against a team in the Top 8. That singular win came courtesy of a Frank Lampard double. Overall, Chelsea have won just 18 of 81 away games against Everton. This, just like most of those previous 81, will not be easy.
In remembrance of Lord Attenborough, both teams will be wearing black armbands.