Everton wants to push on

Kevin Mirallas ... a key component of Everton's early success this season (Getty)

Everton, the surprise package in the Premier League this season, is aiming to continue its superb start when it makes the short journey to Wigan Athletic this weekend.

The Merseyside club, which has found itself overshadowed by the exploits of neighbour Liverpool over the years, is in second place, three points behind Chelsea but above Manchester United, champion Manchester City and the rest.

This start has surprised many but goalkeeper Tim Howard believes it's due to team spirit and some canny recruitment by manager David Moyes.

"I think our start is down to the quality of players the manager has brought in over the last six months or so," the American told Everton's official website.

"We now have a bunch of players who are comfortable on the ball, who can take the ball and be match-winners.

"That is something all the top teams have, and we have got a few of them on our team.

"It is important to have the likes of (Nikica) Jelavic and (Steven) Pienaar and (Marouane) Fellaini. Kevin Mirallas has come in, too, and sparkled on the wing."

"I think top four (is realistic) but we know it is going to be a hard ask as well," he said.

"Having said that, in order for us to do great things, we have to punch above our weight.

"We are not a huge squad, and we don't have boatloads of money like other clubs, so in order for us to get the job done we have to stay really consistent for quite a few months."

Moyes was delighted with his side's performance against Southampton last weekend, when his team recovered from a goal down to record another confident victory.

And with Wigan sitting just one point above the relegation zone, Moyes will fancy his side's chances of another win next start.

"I hope there is more to come from us," Moyes said, "because we want to play like we did in the first half against Southampton for 90 minutes.

"There will be times when we have to grind things out like we did in the second half, but we want to play like we did at Swansea and against Aston Villa and we want to keep that going."

Chelsea will be confident of at least maintaining its advantage at the top as it welcomes a struggling Norwich City side to Stamford Bridge.

Former England captain John Terry seems likely to play again despite an impending four-match ban for a racial slur but that's the only controversial issue for a Chelsea side fresh from a confident Champions League win in midweek.

Behind the Blues, Manchester United and Manchester City know they cannot afford to let Chelsea get too far ahead, even this early in the season, and will be chasing maximum points.

United is away to Newcastle while City hosts Sunderland.

Fifth-placed Tottenham, which won at Manchester United last weekend, welcomes Aston Villa while sixth-placed West Bromwich Albion takes on bottom side Queens Park Rangers.

In the weekend's other matches, an improving Liverpool takes on Stoke City, Arsenal travels to West Ham, Southampton faces Fulham and Swansea meets Reading.