Chelsea will be keen to replicate the immaculate display in the FA Cup victory over Liverpool when they host Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.
The then struggling Everton side had picked up only 14 points from 15 games. But inspired by caretaker Duncan Ferguson, Everton managed to surprise the visitors.
It was the same old story for Chelsea. Frank Lampard’s men dominated the possession (70%) but were vulnerable at the back.
Ferguson will likely lead Everton at Stamford Bridge. Ancelotti was shown a red card after the draw against Manchester United and could face a touchline ban.
It is a must-win game for Chelsea. With fifth-placed Manchester United and sixth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers both only three points behind, Chelsea’s Champions League spot is in a risky position.
Here are three key stats Chelsea should consider ahead of the Everton game.
Scoring the first goal would be crucial
It may seem obvious, but data shows both Chelsea and Everton have poor statistics when trailing behind. Both sides have only picked up five points each from the games where they conceded the first goal (data from Transfermarkt).
Chelsea should be wary of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin
The attacking duo contributed to 62% of Everton’s total goals this season. Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin have been on the scoresheet in the past three games, scoring two and three goals respectively. Shut down these two and a win should be guaranteed for Chelsea.
Find a solution to Everton’s aerial threat
Everton have scored 11 headed goals in the Premier League this season (second-most after Liverpool with 14) and it contributed to 30% of their total tally of 37. They have not scored a goal from outside the penalty box, which means Chelsea should put more bodies in their 18-yard box.
Lampard can make use of Kurt Zouma for this game, since the French international is Chelsea’s best defender in the air.