Chelsea take on Everton on Saturday evening as Anotnio Conte’s side look to continue their recent resurgence.
Since suffering a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in September, the Blues have responded in the best possible way and four wins without conceding (including a 4-0 destruction of Manchester United) has put them firmly back in the title picture.
Central to that has been the formation switch to 3-4-3, while Diego Costa, Eden Hazard ad Victor Moses in particular have all been in tremendous form.
Everton, for their part, defeated West Ham last weekend to halt a run that had seen Ronald Koeman’s side go five games without a win in all competitions. The run has put a dent in the Toffees’ aspirations of qualifying for the Champions League next season, but a win at Stamford Bridge today would put a new slant on that conversation.
Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma has been a long-term injury concern for months, but has returned to training recently. That said, he will not feature on Saturday. Nor will Cesc Fabregas, though both should be fit to return after the international break.
For Everton, meanwhile, James McCarthy is unlikely to play with a hamstring injury despite being named in Martin O’Neill’s Ireland squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifier. Leighton Baines is out with the same complaint, while Mo Besic will be out until the new year. Irissa Gueye, meanwhile, is serving a one-match ban.
The Likely Starting Lineups:
Chelsea: Courtois, Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta, Moses, Matic, Kanté, Alonso, Pedro, Hazard, Costa
Everton: Stekelenburg, Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Oviedo, Barry, Cleverley, Bolasie, Barkley, Mirallas, Lukaku
— Everton (@Everton) November 5, 2016
The Head-To Head Record:
The big statistic floating around ahead of this match is that Everton’s last league win at Stamford Bridge was in 1994 – since then they have won 11 and drawn 10 in their visits to the ground. That run was almost ended last year but a John Terry goal eight minutes into injury time rescued a 3-3 draw for the home side.
Overall the record at Stamford Bridge reads:
Played: 85 Chelsea Wins: 45 Draws: 28 Everton Wins: 12
Chelsea’s form has been brilliantly rampant lately, while Everton are (West Ham win aside) looking remarkably wobbly lately. All signs point to a home win.