Michael Keane said Everton are unfazed by Chelsea’s “very good form” under Thomas Tuchel ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge on Monday.
The Blues are now on a 10-game unbeaten run under the new manager after a crucial 1-0 win at Anfield last Thursday.
Tuchel’s 3-4-3 structure has brought more balance to the team, as they demonstrated with three consecutive clean-sheets against Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, and Liverpool.
But Everton defender Keane said the Stamford Bridge trip will not be the first time they expect to defend against a possession-based team.
“On Monday we’ll be coming up against a Chelsea team in very good form,” the centre-back told Everton’s official website.
“They are keeping the ball a lot and creating quite a lot of chances
“But we’ve been used to playing against teams this season that have had a bit more possession than us and we’ve stayed solid in those games, hit them on the counter and taken our chances.
“It’s probably going to be a similar pattern on Monday.
“They will probably have more of the ball than us, especially being at home.
“But we know we can hurt them when we do have the ball, and we’ve just got to defend well.”
Chelsea should be confident if they can dominate the possession of the ball as expected against Everton.
Atletico, Man United, and Liverpool all planned to hit Chelsea with counter-attacking football without any success.
Tuchel’s surprisingly pragmatic approach certainly played a big part in Chelsea’s good defensive record.
As the German pointed out after Man United’s stalemate (via Chelsea TV), “If you can’t win, it’s important not to lose”.
This time, a draw might not be enough, however.
Everton and West Ham are one point and two points behind Chelsea in fifth and sixth, respectively, and each have a game in hand.
The pressure is on Chelsea to win and cement their top-four spot on Monday.