Prediction: Everton vs Chelsea
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 19/20
Looking to climb back into the top-four, Chelsea will travel to a struggling Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon.
Starting with the hosts, throwing away a two-goal lead last weekend and leaving St. James’ Park on the wrong end of a 3-2 loss, Everton boss Marco Silva is finding himself under increasing pressure on Merseyside. With the Blues now sat outside of the top-half of the table, the former Watford boss has now seen his side remarkably recorded just one Premier League victory in their last six outings, a run that stems back to the end of January. Arguably the biggest problem for the Toffees this season has been their very worrying performances at Goodison Park. Failing to win any of their last three appearances in front of their own supporters, Silva’s men have managed to pick up just a single victory at Goodison in 2019. Even more worrying for Everton, Sunday’s hosts have scored just one goal at home in over 280 minutes of action. If the Blues are to pull off a shock upset and end their barren run, then they will be looking for misfiring winger Theo Walcott to extend his record against Chelsea. The former England international has scored six goals in all competitions against Chelsea, finding the net at all four grounds he has faced them on.
Everton’s Seamus Coleman is set to return after missing the defeat at Newcastle because of illness.
Leighton Baines is also in contention after a back issue but Phil Jagielka is an injury doubt while Kurt Zouma is ineligible against his parent club.
As for the visitors, coming off the back of a very professional performance in their 5-0 victory away at Dynamo Kyiv, Chelsea should be boosted by booking their spot in the quarter-finals of this year’s Europa League. Although it may have taken a last-gasp Eden Hazard equalizer to take a point off of Wolves last weekend, Maurizio Sarri has seen his side enjoy a five-match unbeaten run across all competitions. While a win on Sunday would see the Blues climb back into the top-four, the former Napoli boss will be desperate for his side to improve on their recent performances on the road. The Blues have lost three of their last four top-flight matches away from West London, they have kept only one clean sheet in their last nine away league matches, in a 1-0 triumph at Crystal Palace on 30 December. While their form away from Stamford Bridge may still leave a lot to the imagination, Sarri’s side should also be boosted by their recent success against the Toffees. Chelsea have now recorded five consecutive Premier League clean sheets against Everton, a run that goes all the way back to January of 2016.
Gonzalo Higuain could be available again after missing the midweek trip to Dynamo Kiev with illness.
The likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, and Eden Hazard, who were rested in midweek, are set to return.
Key Factors to Consider
- Everton have lost four of their last six league games (W1, D1).
It’s seven games and more than two months since they last won at home (D3, L4).
- Chelsea have won three of their last five league matches (D1, L1).
- Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 24 (48%) of Chelsea’s 50 Premier League goals this season (13 goals, 11 assists), the highest ratio in the division.
- Everton have not scored a Premier League goal against Chelsea in their last five attempts.
While Chelsea might have had their struggles on the road this season, Maurizio Sarri should see this as a golden opportunity to climb back into the top-four. Given Everton’s continued struggles this season, coupled with them failing to score a single goal against the Blues since 2016, we’re backing Sunday’s visitors to come away with the victory.
Verdict: Chelsea win
Best Odds: 19/20