As the season inches closer to the finishing line, Chelsea face their remaining toughest opponents on paper. Tomorrow they travel to Everton in what is expected to be a feisty encounter at the Goodison Park, a ground where Chelsea struggle on their travels. With Spurs just four points behind, the Blues must avoid defeat to enforce a smooth passage to the Premier League title.
Spurs face Arsenal tomorrow and still have to face Manchester United and Leicester City which makes it okay for Chelsea to grab a draw against the Toffees. The reason for being happy with a draw is that Ronald Koeman’s team have been sensational at home and with Europa League qualification under their belt now, the hosts will play to end the season on a high.
Koeman called Chelsea the best Premier League team this season in his pre-match talk as he also said that the Toffees are going to give their all against Chelsea.
The Blues have luckily avoided injuries throughout the current campaign and Antonio Conte is expected to have a full-strength squad to travel to the Merseyside as well. It means that Chelsea will play in their regular 3-4-3 formation with the likes of John Terry, Cesc Fabregas and Willian set to be on the bench.
Everton welcome back Enner Valencia into the mix. He missed last week’s game against the Hammers due to an agreement in his loan deal. But the Toffees have many names on the sidelines as Ronald Koeman will be without the services of Muhammad Besic, James McCarthy, Ramiro Funes-Mori, Aaron Lennon, Seamus Coleman and Yannick Bolasie for the game against the champions-elect.
Goodison Park is a bit of a bogey ground for Chelsea as the Blues have lost five times in their last seven visits to the blue half of Merseyside. Diego Costa loves playing against the Toffees though, as the Spaniard has scored four and assisted two in his last four appearances against Everton.
For the hosts, Romelu Lukaku is on course to win the golden boot this season and has scored in all of the home matches that Everton have played in this calendar year. The Toffees are also currently on an eight-match winning run at home – their longest streak in the Premier League.
Everton – Stekelenburg, Holgate, Williams, Jagielka, Baines, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies, Mirallas, Barkley, Lukaku
Chelsea – Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Cahill, Moses, Kanté, Matic, Alonso, Pedro, Hazard, Costa
Everton 2-2 Chelsea
Everton win – 13/5
Chelsea win – 21/20
Draw – 5/2