Everton vs Chelsea: Match Preview - The Chelsea Chronicle

Everton vs Chelsea: Match Preview

After progressing in the Carabao Cup in midweek, it’s back to Premier League action for Chelsea as they travel up to Goodison Park to play an improved Everton side. Since Ronald Koeman’s departure, the Toffees have turned it around and are yet to lose a game under Sam Allardyce. But the Blues are on a good run of their own with 8 wins in their last 10 league games so Antonio Conte and his team will be confident of getting a result on Merseyside and climb the tree before Christmas Day.

Team News

After ‘over-celebrating’ his last-minute winner against Bournemouth, Alvaro Morata picked up his fifth booking of the season and is now suspended for this clash with Everton. Conte revealed in his press conference that he’d planned to start Morata on Saturday so he’ll have to come up with something different before kick-off. David Luiz and Charly Musonda are out through injury while Ethan Ampadu is expected to make the squad after his Man of the Match performance in the Carabao Cup. Chelsea target Ross Barkley will have to wait for his first appearance of the season while James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie are not fully fit after lengthy lay-offs. Leighton Baines is also unlikely to feature.

Probable Chelsea XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, Christensen, Cahill; Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Alonso; Pedro, Hazard, Willian.

Probable Everton XI: Pickford; Kenny, Holgate, Williams, Martina; Gueye, Schneiderlin, Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin.

Key Battles

In recent games, the centre-back partnership of Mason Holgate and Ashley Williams has been surprisingly solid so the Chelsea front three of Eden Hazard, Pedro and Willian will have to use all their creative skill to find a way past them. On the other hand, Cuco Martina is out of position at left-back and it shows. Victor Moses could get a lot of joy on that side of the pitch if he doubles up with Hazard, Pedro or Willian to cause mayhem for the Everton defender.
Gylfi Sigurdsson tends to cut in from the left flank so Cesar Azpilicueta and the central midfield duo will have to be well aware of his capabilities to score from long range. Idrissa Gueye and N’Golo Kante are very similar players in terms of playing style so that battle in midfield will be arguably the most important because it determines who dominates and who doesn’t.

Chelsea’s Record against Everton

Chelsea have won their last five games in all competitions against Saturday’s opponents, scoring 14 goals and conceding just one. The last time the Toffees triumphed in this fixture was back in 2015 where a Steven Naismith hat-trick piled the misery on Jose Mourinho’s Champions. Wayne Rooney has scored nine times against Chelsea during his career and is already into double figures this season on his return to his boyhood club. So, if it’s going to be anyone to score, it’s going to be him. There are always goals between the two sides – the last time there was a goalless draw in this fixture was in the 2008/09 season where both games finished 0-0.

Sam Allardyce has won his last two games against Chelsea; with Sunderland and Crystal Palace and is the manager with the joint-best record against the Blues in the Premier League.

Pep Guardiola and his men are building an unassailable lead at the top of the Premier League so it’s become the race for second place. The Blues can draw level with Manchester United in second with a win at Goodison on Saturday lunchtime so expect Antonio Conte to be well up for this one.