Chelsea’s form in recent weeks has been far better than score lines may suggest, with Bournemouth, Southampton and Huddersfield all receiving something of a lesson from the Blues yet escaping with their pride in tact.
Antonio Conte will be keen to see a continuation of that form this afternoon, as his side head to face Sam Allardyce’s resurgent Everton. The Toffees have managed to push their way into the top half having looked like a club in crisis not so long ago, and will be full of confidence going into the tie.
Each of the last 3 Premier League meetings between these sides has gone Chelsea’s way, with Everton failing to register a single goal, but if that run is to continue Conte must get his team selection right. This is the XI we expect him to go with:
|PLAYER||% MINS PLD||GLS||AST.|
|0||1||0 / 0|
|2||5||1 / 0|
|0||0||0 / 0|
|0||0||1 / 1|
|0||1||1 / 0|
|1||0||1 / 0|
|3||3||3 / 0|
|4||2||6 / 0|
|4||4||0 / 0|
|6||4||0 / 0|
|8||7||1 / 0|
|Totals||28||27||14 / 1|
|LINE-UP COMBINED RECORD|
|LAST MATCH - 16 Dec 2017|
1 - 0
|1 - 0|
|TOTAL PREMIER LEAGUE EXPERIENCE|
Gary Cahill, César Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen have formed a strong partnership in recent weeks, and will continue at the back here. Chelsea have kept 5 clean sheets in the 10 games they’ve started together, and another one here would set them up very nicely.
Cesc Fabregas has been in excellent form of late, but looks set to be left on the bench here. N'Golo Kanté and Tiémoué Bakayoko will partner in the middle of the field, offering more defensive stability but undoubtedly less going forward that Fabregas would have.
Álvaro Morata’s suspension is a major blow to the Blues, with the Spaniard having been a key figure in their attack this season. Conte looks set to avoid the urge to go with a like-for-like replacement, however, and instead opt for the more mobile, fluid front 3 of Pedro, Eden Hazard and Willian.
Overall, it’s an incredibly strong Chelsea side and one that is more than capable of getting a result at Goodison Park. Odds of 7/1 are available on the away win to new 888Sport customers in what is surely one of the bets of the day.
This is backed up by KickOff’s all-new Acca Smacker, which uses our unique predictive algorithm to give Chelsea a 51% chance of victory, compared to just 24% for the home win.
Flick over to the ‘Form Stats’ tab and reasons for Chelsea cheer only increase. Using 18 key data points, 9 attacking and 9 defensive, from the past 10 games for each side, KickOff compares the two sides and finds that Chelsea come out on top in 12 of them to Everton’s 2. It’s a big gap and one that gives a strong indication of where the points may be headed here.