Chelsea and Everton have the same number of wins but the Merseyside club takes the cake when it comes to draws and hence sit three places above Chelsea at 11th in the Premier League table while Chelsea languishes at 14th. Both the teams have been having an extremely disappointing season so far and have been looking very likely to concede every time the opponent makes a move or a counter. While Chelsea have improved in this regard over the past few matches, Everton seemed to have done the opposite and have instead reinforced their strength with the arrival of ever brilliant Leighton Baines into the squad from an unfortunate injury suffered in the opening stages of the season.

While Chelsea have the inform Costa, Everton have Lukaku. For Chelsea’s Willian, there is Everton’s Deulofeu. For Chelsea’s Fabregas, there is Everton’s Barkley but what Everton now have been Leighton Baines who will provide an intriguing matchup against Willian. Also Chelsea boast of Azpilicueta who is known to shut down his wing. It will turn out to be a case of calm versus the chaos. The attack versus the defence. And this fixture hasn’t looked this good for the neutrals ever since the 6-3 win Chelsea inflicted on Everton en route to the title last season. Even though last season’s fixture yielded only a 1-0 win for Chelsea, it was a thrilling match due to the winner being late and Chelsea’s relentless pressure on the Toffees.

Team News:

Chelsea are missing Eden Hazard and Radamel Falcao to injuries and have a clean bill of health otherwise.

Everton don’t have any major absentees and welcomed back Baines into the squad over the New Year.

Expected Lineups:

Chelsea:

Courtois Azpilicueta, Terry, Zouma, Ivanovic, Mikel, Fabregas | Kenedy, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Costa

Everton:

Howard, Baines, Stones, Jagielka, Coleman, Basic, Barry, Deulofeu, Barkley, Pienaar, Lukaku

Key Battles:

Baines vs Willian

We know Baines can be an attacking juggernaut but will be able to afford to leave his primary duties against the player of the year so far? Willian is very capable of punishing any mistakes the Englishman might make the evening.

Costa vs Jagielka

Costa is in red hot form and mood at the moment and will be looking to get a sight on goal every single chance he gets over the ninety minutes and the bad news for Jagielka is that he will have to be vigilant every single time. Costa will punish them, there are no two ways about it. In another blow, expect the attacking four to not help in at all and Jagielka potentially has the most difficult matchup of his career on his hands.

Betting Odds:

Chelsea win: 5/6

Draw: 11/4

Everton win: 15/4

Prediction:

Chelsea 4-3 Everton or Chelsea 1-2 Everton depending on whether the current Chelsea or the early season Chelsea turn up for the match.

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