Everton vs Chelsea
Venue: Goodison Park
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
Referee: Anthony Taylor
The last game of this weekend’s fixtures see’s Chelsea travel to 12th placed Everton. A Blues win could see them leapfrog Manchester United into fifth due to United’s cup commitments and Chelsea’s game in hand. A comprehensive win would do Chelsea some good too as their goal difference is currently only one better than Solskjaer’s team.
As for Everton, the home side have not won in the league since the 26th February which was a 3-0 win against Cardiff and they haven’t won at home in the league since the 13th January against Bournemouth. Add into this FA Cup defeat to Millwall and you get a pretty dire picture – Marco Silva will need to start turning things around soon if he’s to keep hold of his job that’s for sure.
I imagine this week will be a strong win for Chelsea. Everton have recently conceded three to Newcastle and Chelsea’s attack is twice as strong as Newcastle’s. The Blues may have only just scraped a point against Wolves last time out but Wolves are a good team and quite frankly right now it appears that Everton are not.
Everton: Why Everton have looked so average this season is beyond me as when you look at their squad on paper they seem really strong. Jagielka and Coleman are both only 75% likely to play but with Kurt Zouma out with injury, it appears that Silva may have to gamble on the former to slot in alongside Keane at centre half.
The midfield looks to remain the same with the two holders in Gueye and Schneiderlin and then the usual three in front of them with Calvert-Lewin leading the line. There will be worries too around Jordan Pickford who has looked far from the assured, calm and commanding presence he did in the World Cup.
Chelsea: Chelsea have more or less a fully fit squad from which to choose from on Sunday. The usual battles over who plays on the right wing and who plays in midfield alongside Jorginho and Kante will rage on. Those who regularly read my previews will know that I am a champion of Hudson-Odoi however Sarri appears to disagree favoring either Willian or Pedro.
As for the midfield, Kovacic may well keep his place but both Barkley and Loftus-Cheek have recently been in fantastic form and may well be boosted by recent call ups to the England squad for their games at the end of March.
Higuaín is a bit of a doubt but I imagine that with no real other options up front Chelsea will stick with him. The Argentine has been fantastic so far at the Bridge and one imagines that if Chelsea can work some magic to get their transfer ban overturned they will do everything they can to keep him going into next season.
Predicted Starting XIs
Everton (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Scheniderlin, Gueye; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Kepa; Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Luiz, Emerson; Kante, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek; Willian, Higuaín, Hazard
Score Prediction: Everton 0 Chelsea 3
One feels that this will be a rather one-sided affair. Home advantage has appeared to mean nothing to Everton recently and Chelsea’s strike force has looked decent – this may well be too much for the Toffees.