It would be fair to say that these two outfits have taken completely different approaches over the past few years, with Chelsea splashing the cash while Everton have stuck with their modest approach. Nevertheless, the Toffees have still enjoyed a terrific season and will prove difficult opponents for the Blues as they look to make a move on the top four.
Still, while Everton are a success story in their own right, let’s not forget that Chelsea currently sit top of the league. Jose Mourinho keeps claiming that his side are a work in progress, but this is a statement that you simply have to question when you analyse their current situation. They may have been knocked out of the cup by Manchester City in their most recent outing, but after beating the big spenders just a couple of weeks ago this is a result that won’t have bothered Mourinho in the slightest. Instead, he’ll be looking to preserve their recent top flight form, which has seen them put together an unbeaten run of eleven games. With the club also not losing a league game at Stamford Bridge throughout the season, it’s no surprise to see their fans especially confident for this encounter.
Everton on the other hand will be looking to put behind them a rocky few weeks in the league. At one point, the Toffees were one of the hardest sides in Europe to break down, but they now approach this game having lost two of their last three top flight games. On a more positive note, they did comfortably beat Swansea in the FA Cup in their last game, but recent form still means that they have plummeted down to 6th spot and now sit eight points adrift of the top four. To make matters worse for Roberto Martinez ahead of this game, their two top flight defeats happened to be on the road – suggesting that this clash against the Blues might be even harder than first thought.
All of Chelsea’s team news surrounds their defence, with the Blues firstly being boosted by the return of John Terry. However, Gary Cahill has been penned in for a late fitness test, while David Luiz has been definitely ruled out as he struggles with a muscle injury. Everton meanwhile will not be able to call upon Romelu Lukaku, with the terms of his loan agreement stipulating that he is not permitted to face his parent club. The Toffees have received good news in relation to Steven Naismith though and despite initial doubts, the makeshift striker has recovered from his head injury and should feature.
Everton have proved to be a strong top flight outfit this term, but we just get the impression that they’re starting to run out of steam. With Chelsea in full flow and making a charge for the title, our tip is therefore going to be a 2-0 win for the Blues.