ENGLAND: Premier League
Time: 8:45 PM
Venue: Stamford Bridge (London)
Chelsea left it late last time out vs Leeds United, but eventually won 3-2 for a second consecutive Premier League (PL) fixture by that scoreline, a result that ultimately kept them within two points of leaders Manchester City. Those two matches plus a recent 3-3 draw with Zenit St. Petersburg highlight a recent defensive weakness which means that the ‘Blues’ are now looking to avoid conceding 2+ goals in four competitive games for the first time since September 2016.
The European champions should be confident of avoiding that unwanted feat given they welcome a struggling Everton side who rarely put up a worthy fight at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea are unbeaten across their last 26 PL home games vs the Merseysiders and could match their longest ever unbeaten home run against any opponent in league history with another win or draw here.
Unrest around Goodison Park is intensifying with fans growing increasingly frustrated with unpopular manager Rafael Benítez. The Spanish coach has overseen a torrid run of just one win in ten PL matches for the ‘Toffees’ – no team has won fewer points during that period (five).
However, the visitors might take some confidence knowing they’re undefeated across their last five PL games played on a Thursday (W2, D3). Yet it’s hard to ignore not only their poor current form and terrible H2H record, but also the fact they’ve failed to score in each of their last five PL trips to Chelsea. That’s something Everton have also failed to do in two of their last three away league games.
Players to watch: Used as a sub recently, Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku holds the title of being Everton’s highest ever PL goalscorer (68), but will be hoping to bag against them here for the second time since leaving in 2017. Everton’s Richarlison boasts a goal and assist across his last three PL appearances, and he’s also netted two headers across his last five H2Hs with Chelsea.
- Chelsea’s form in last 5 matches: WDLWD.
- Everton’s form in last 5 matches: LWLLL.
PREDICTION: Home Win and Over 1.5