Inconsistent Everton play hosts to Chelsea on Sunday, looking to restore some pride after their shocking 3-2 defeat at St James Park against Newcastle last weekend.
The defeat was shocking in the fact that the Toffees were 2-0 up and let it all slip.
That loss has led to pressure being increased on Marcos Silva, so he’ll be looking for a response against the West-Londoners on Sunday.
Chelsea come into this game on the back of a thumping 5-0 win in the Europa League against Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday.
However in terms of the Premier League, the Blues were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to a resilient Wolves.
That draw last weekend means that this game is a must win for Maurizio Sarri’s men if they want top 4 at the end of the season.
Recent form in the Premier League
TV Information (Credit- Evening Standard)
The match will be shown live on Sky Sports’ Premier League and Main Event channels, and is available via Now TV with a day pass on offer for £8.99. Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via SkyGo and the SkyGo app.
Team News (Credit- Sportsmole)
In terms of the home side, Kurt Zouma is ineligible against his former club as per the terms of his loan agreement, so Yerry Mina should slot in alongside Michael Keane.
Seamus Coleman was named in Everton’s starting lineup to face Newcastle but pulled out of the squad because of illness. That is unlikely to keep him out this weekend, however, meaning Jonjoe Kenny should drop down to the bench.
Elsewhere, Morgan Schneiderlin and Andre Gomes are vying it out for a holding-midfield berth alongside Idrissa Gueye, with the latter being selected last time out.
Theo Walcott, another player in contention to start, has scored six goals in all competitions against Chelsea, netting at least once in all four grounds he has faced them at.
Gonzalo Higuain was forced to sit out the midweek meeting with Dynamo Kiev due to illness, and he now faces a battle to win back his place through the middle following Giroud’s hat-trick at the NSC Olimpiyskiy.
Sarri was able to give Hazard, Jorginho and David Luiz a rest in the Ukraine and he is expected to recall all three for Sunday’s trip to Merseyside.
At no ground has Hazard played more Premier League games without scoring than he has at Goodison Park, though – six, level with Selhurst Park.
Continuing with his theme of rotation between matches, it is also likely that Willian and Mateo Kovacic will make way for Pedro and Ross Barkley this weekend after starting on Thursday.
Predicted starting elevens
Everton’s predicted starting line up (4-2-3-1)- Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne; Gueye, Gomes; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin.
Chelsea’s predicted starting line up (4-3-3)- Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Barkley; Pedro, Giroud, Hazard.
Everton Manager: Marco Silva
“They are really strong in that front line, and in the middle zone also.
“But they are here playing at Goodison – if you have achieved a good result against them away, maybe with confidence we can achieve better at home.”
Chelsea Manager: Maurizio Sarri
“In my opinion, Everton, outside the top six, are the best team in the Premier League in terms of technical quality.
“So we have to play a very important match, and a very difficult game.”
Head to Head record
These two sides have met 181 times over the years in all competitions, with Chelsea having the better head to head record. The West-Londoners have beaten the Toffees on 72 occasions. There have been 55 draws between these two sides in all competitions. And Everton have beaten Chelsea on 54 occasions in all competitions.
One of these wins for the Toffees against Chelsea, came in their most recent win against the Blues- in the FA Cup in the 2015/16 season, when a Barry and Lukaku goal knocked the Blues out of the Cup in that season.
In terms of League head to head record, these two sides have met 159 times over the years, with Chelsea having the better record in the League. The Blues have beaten the team from the blue half of Merseyside on 59 occasions.
One of those wins for Chelsea against Everton, was their most recent win- last season in the EFL/Carabao Cup, when a WIllian goal knocked Everton out of that competition. That game ended 2-1 to the Blues.
Everton have beaten Chelsea 50 times in League competitions. Their last League win against Chelsea came in the 2015/16 season, when Everton smashed Mourinho’s Chelsea by 3-1. And there has been 50 draws between these two sides in League competitions over the years.
In fact there hasn’t been a win in this contest in the last two games. At the end of last season, where Everton held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park. And earlier this season, Marco Silva’s Everton held Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Betting Odds/My Predictions
Betfair have made Chelsea slight favourites to pick up the three points at Goodison Park on Sunday. A Chelsea win is being priced at 19/20. A draw is being priced at 11/4. And a home win for Everton is being priced at 31/10.
My realistic prediction for this match as a journalist is a 0-0 draw. Last two games against Everton have been 0-0, and I have a funny feeling that It will be another 0-0 draw.
My optimistic prediction for this match as a Chelsea fan is a 1-2 Chelsea win. I have a feeling we will go behind in this game. But I have a feeling that Higuain and Hazard will rescue a vital three points for us.
Comment down below your score predictions for this game, and who do you want to see in the team lineup on Sunday?
By Danyal Khan