Chelsea vs Everton: Match preview and predicted line-ups

Chelsea are certainly a side on the up at the moment, and look a certainty to be a title challenger when May comes around. This weekend, they face another stern test as they host Ronald Koeman’s Everton side. The match should be an absolute cracker and literally could go either way.

 

Recent form

Chelsea’s climb up the table has been pretty rapid since their 3-0 defeat away at Arsenal. They’ve gone on a four-game winning streak in the Premier League, securing solid wins against Hull City, Leicester City, Manchester United and Southampton. They did not concede a single goal in any of those four games.

Everton are sitting pretty in sixth position. Ronald Koeman is a brilliant manager, and the Toffees must’ve been pleased when they managed to acquire his services over the summer. They beat West Ham by a convincing 2-0 scoreline last weekend, and also earned a credible 1-1 draw against City over recent weeks. However, that 2-1 defeat against Burnley causes a bit of concern.

Predicted starting line-ups

Chelsea predicted starting XI                         Everton predicted starting XI

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In terms of starting elevens, literally nothing has changed from their last games. Both have been playing some eye-catching football, and if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Diego Costa looks to be in the form of his life, as does Eden Hazard. Coupled with that solid midfield duo of N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic, Everton will find it tough.

The visitors themselves look sharp. Romelu Lukaku will want to get one over on his old club, and he’ll be doing all he can to find the back of the net. Ashley Williams has brought a defensive resilience with him since his summer move, and with Phil Jagielka at the back as well, Chelsea will have to be at their best.

 

Suspensions and injuries

Chelsea are looking great. Their squad doesn’t have any major injuries at this point in time. The only doubt they have is Cesc Fabregas, but he should be fit enough to play from off of the bench if they need his creativity. They also have no suspensions, although Diego Costa is one yellow card off picking up a one-match ban.

Things could be going an awful lot better for Everton in terms of injuries. Martin Stekelenburg is a doubt for this one with a foot injury, he should be able to make it though. Arouna Kone could also make a return after a knee problem, he’ll face a late fitness test. Both James McCarthy and Leighton Baines will miss out this coming weekend with hamstring issues, with Muhamed Besic missing until the new year.

Our prediction

This game could be extremely close. Chelsea are definitely finding their feet at the moment, and after switching to the 3-4-3 they look an awful lot better as a team. Antonio Conte’s men are playing some nice stuff, but Everton could well prove to be a danger on the counter-attack. That said, I think the home side will come out on top. Chelsea 2-1.

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