Chelsea vs. Everton – Premier League
Venue: Stamford Bridge – Wednesday, February 11th – 19:45
Match Odds: Chelsea 1/3 – Draw 15/4 – Everton 9/1
The Blues are boosted by the return of Cesc Fabregas but goal machine Diego Costa is still ruled out, serving the last of his three-match ban.
The return fixture between Chelsea and Everton earlier this season was rammed with action, as the game ended with a 6-3 win for Chelsea, but we can expect both sides to be tighter at the back this time around.
Chelsea’s home record in the Premier League: Played 11 – Won 10 – Drew 1 – Lost 0
Jose Mourinho’s side have kept Stamford Bridge a fortress in the league all season and that form, as we have said before, is the difference between the league leaders and Manchester City.
Chelsea will be keeping one eye on City’s tough tie away at Stoke, and the chasers cannot afford to let the Blues extend their lead at the top of the table any further.
Everton’s away record in the Premier League: Played 12 – Won 3 – Drew 3 – Lost 6
The Toffees have really struggled on the road this season and it would be a major boost to get their season back on track in the push for European football if they can get a result in West London.
Romelu Lukaku will be relishing the chance to face his former side at Stamford Bridge, where he barely had a sniff as a Chelsea player, and the Belgian striker will be keen to show the Chelsea faithful how dangerous he can be.
Much has been made of the comparison between Lukaku and Didier Drogba, as he had been labelled as his long-term replacement, but as we know Drogba is now back with the club and Lukaku has moved on.
Drogba failed to make much of an impact against Aston Villa on Saturday and we could see Loic Remy get the nod up top once again as he scored in Chelsea’s last home game against City.
Juan Cuadrado is in line for a home debut but Mourinho, who has been so pleased with his wingers this season, will more than likely opt to go with Eden Hazard and Willian in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.
Everton could also give a full debut to a winger of their own as Aaron Lennon will be pushing for a start while Leighton Baines is expected to return after missing the Merseyside derby on Saturday.
Chelsea’s last five in the Premier League: L/W/W/D/W
Everton’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/D/W/D
Key Stat: Unbeaten – Chelsea still remain unbeaten in the league at home this season and Everton face a tough task to break the trend.
Key Player: Eden Hazard – scoring again last weekend to get Chelsea going in the absence of Costa, the Belgian will be at the forefront of everything for the Blues.
Score Prediction: Chelsea 2–0 Everton – The hosts to prove too strong for the Toffees.