Everton versus Everton. There can only be one winner

Everton v CD Everton, Pre-season Friendly, August 4, 2010

Everton 1.57; Draw 3.35; CD Everton 4.92

It’s very rare in football to see two teams with the same name line-up against each other, but that will happen on Wednesday night in Liverpool as Everton FC take on Chile’s CD Everton in a match celebrating their 101-year historical bond.

Time for the history lesson.

In 1909 Everton and Tottenham were invited to South America to play a series of exhibition games against each other and the strongest teams Argentina and Uruguay could muster. Those matches had a far-reaching impact as it inspired a group of Anglo-Chilean teenagers to form their own football club which they named Everton.

Several name changes later, CD Everton are today the sixth most successful team in Chilean history having scooped four national titles (most recently in 2008) as well as winning the national cup once back in 1984.

Aside from their curious name, CD Everton’s biggest claim to fame at the minute is their manager Nelson Acosta. At 66-years-young, Acosta has had a long career in football management with his high-point coming between 1996-2000 when he was the coach of the Chilean national team. Blessed with the likes of Ivan Zamorano, Marcelo Salas and Clarence Acuna, La Roja beat the Three Lions 2-nil at Wembley and elevated coach Acosta onto the world stage. (Relive the match here.)

On the field, CD Everton’s star player is Uruguayan striker Mauro Guevgeozian. Standing just over six-foot tall, the number nine, known for his technique and finishing ability, bagged seven goals in 17 matches last term playing as the team’s main target man up-top.

Another Uruguayan stars in midfield for the Chileans. Playing in the holding midfield role, 23-year-old Nicolas Freitas is a tough tackling bully in the centre of the pitch, and the Toffees would be wise to not get too close to the number five if they want to keep their legs during the 90 minutes.

At the back CD Everton roll out a full-compliment of home grown stars. Lisandro Henriquez (27), Sebastian Montesinos (24) and Cristian Oviedo (30) have all been round the block while, after playing almost his entire career in Chile, 33-year-old Argentine shot-stopper Gustavo Dalsasso has the experience to marshall his defence.

In truth though, after coming a disappointing eighth in last season Chilean league CD Everton should prove no match for a Toffee-team with high hopes for the forthcoming season.

A resurgent second half of the 2009/10 Premier League season wasn’t enough for Everton to claim a European berth this campaign, however it has fuelled confidence that the blues can again mix it with the big-boys this season. (Everton are 9.00 to finish in the top four this season.)

An assault on the higher echelons of the Premier League will again be done in a period of poverty. After seven years at the club David Moyes barely has two cents to rub together, but the wily Scot has time and again proven his ability to get the best out of his charges typically referred to as being a unit who out-perform the sum of their parts.

While Dan Gosling has left Goodison Park for Newcastle under a black cloud, Everton’s other transfer dealings have seen Jermaine Beckford join fellow strikers Joao Silva and Magaye Guyere and Slovakian international goalkeeper Jan Mucha on Merseyside. More important than the incomings though has been Everton’s consolidation policy. Despite daily rumours, Steven Pienaar, Mikel Arteta, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Phil Jagielka all remain on the club’s books, while any team with Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini in midfield needs to be duly respected.

Elsewhere, much of the pre-season Everton talk surrounds whether Jack Rodwell can finally shed his highly-promising tag to step up as a true, consistent first-teamer. While the The 19-year-old midfielder still has time on his side, after performing admirably in pre-season (his goal against the Briisbane Roar the highlight), many will be hoping Rodwell finally begins to fulfill his potential.

Jokers will like to say that in a meeting between Everton and Everton there can only be one winner. For the Scousers however, victory by two or three goals with no injuries being recorded would be an excellent return with the new season under two weeks away.

101gg predicts: Everton 3 – CD Everton 0

Everton 1.57; Draw 3.35; CD Everton 4.92

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