Chelsea welcome Everton to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as they look to maintain their seven point lead at the top of the Premier League. They extended their lead on Saturday after Man City dropped points at home to Hull. With no game for the Blues next weekend after their fourth round FA Cup exit, this is their only game this week.
The last meeting between these two was an incredible encounter, with Chelsea coming out 6-3 winners in an end to end game at Goodison Park. Since then, Everton have kept that poor form up, struggling defensively, and are currently sitting uncomfortably in mid-table. The Toffees are only seven points above the drop zone at the moment, a massive change from this time last year when they were challenging for the Champions League places.
Speaking of Champions League, the Blues return to action next week, with a trip to Paris in the first leg of their last 16 clash against PSG. With no game at the weekend, there isn’t too much need to rest anyone for the the Everton game though. With winning the title being the main priority for Jose Mourinho, it’s not likely that we’ll see too much of a weakened side during the league run in.
Mourinho has a few selection problems ahead of this one, with Diego Costa serving the final game of his suspension. Didier Drogba led the line in the last game at Aston Villa, but Loic Remy should start this time around. Cesc Fabregas has missed the last two games through injury, and he looks set to miss out once more. He’s not likely to be risked here ahead of the game next week. Another who is likely to miss out is Filipe Luis, so Cesar Azpilicueta is likely to keep his place at left back.
All eyes were on new man Juan Cuadrado as he made his debut off the bench against Villa, but he’s likely to have to settle for the same again here with both Willian and Eden Hazard playing well on Saturday. Those two are firmly established as first choice players for Mourinho, so it’s very likely that Cuadrado has a fight on his hands to force his way into the starting line up any time soon.
Everton didn’t look too impressive in their derby draw against Liverpool at the weekend, and they’ve not done too much all season. Given their recent performances Chelsea will expect to record a comfortable home win here, at least a more comfortable one than last season’s last minute winner from John Terry.
Another three points would keep their league campaign running along smoothly. With Manchester City also in action on Wednesday night, facing a tough trip to face Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, things could get even better for the Blues this week if City keep up their poor recent form.
LCN Verdict: Chelsea to win 3-1