CHELSEA v Everton: Preview


Venue: Stamford Bridge
Date: Saturday, 22 February
Kick-off: 12.45 GMT

This afternoon’s early kick-off sees us up against an Everton side that have already taken 3 points off us earlier this season and they’re definitely a better side under Martinez than they were with Moyes.
It’s been 20 years since the Toffees last got a win at Stamford Bridge though and their form against top six sides probably still needs a bit of work from the manager who got his first win for the club against us!

MANAGER’S VIEWS
Going into today’s early kick-off, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is unusually tight-lipped, saying “We think we can beat them because we believe in ourselves. We are not influenced negatively or positively about what happened in the past.”
Everton manager Roberto Martinez makes up for Mourinho’s silence, saying “Stamford Bridge is one of the hardest places to go and get three points, and I think it’s going to be a terrific measurement for ourselves after the disappointment that we had at White Hart Lane. It’s something we need to correct, to use that experience that when you are the better side, you need to win the football game. Chelsea have got terrific home form with this manager, and not just this season. It’s an incredible challenge but probably internally we need that.
From the outside clearly Chelsea look a team that are capable of competing for the title in the same way that I can see Arsenal and Manchester City with strong arguments to win this title. I always say football isn’t about managers, it’s about the players and making sure that as a team you can develop and perform well. We’re looking forward to the game.”

SQUAD NEWS
For Chelsea, David Luiz is ruled out (hip) and Gary Cahill (thigh) faces a late test, although Chelsea captain John Terry is available again, having recovered from a gluteal muscle injury.
For Everton, Bryan Oviedo (broken leg), Arouna Kone (knee) and Darron Gibson (knee) are all long-term absentees for Everton, whilst Romelu Lukaku is ineligible. Antolin Alcaraz is available after injury and despite his concussion last weekend, Steven Naismith is cleared to play.

TEAMS
CHELSEA (Possible line-up): Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Willian, Lampard, Oscar, Hazard, Torres
EVERTON (Possible line-up): Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Barkley, Naismith, Pienaar, Mirallas

LAST MEETING
Everton 1-0 Chelsea (14th September 2013)

PREDICTION
Chelsea are unbeaten in our 18 Premier League home matches against Everton but we’ve drawn as many of them as we’ve won. On current form, we’re unbeaten in our last 11 in the league and have gone 22 league games without defeat at home. Mourinho is unbeaten at Stamford Bridge in all 89 domestic games in open play.
Everton meanwhile, are without a win in their last 4 away in the league and Roberto Martinez has lost all four of his previous Premier League trips to Stamford Bridge as a manager.
All that aside though, I just never expect more than a draw against the Toffees.

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