After a horrendous start to the season, Chelsea have picked themselves up atleast in the Premier League and have finally moved into the top half of the table. But they were thrown out of the Champions League last weekend by PSG and they will face another tough game against Everton in the FA Cup this weekend.
Everton have been playing some good football this season and have found themselves well placed for a European finish this season. Both teams will hope to go as far as they can in the domestic cup competition as it is the only chance of silverware for either side this season. So this encounter promises to provide all the thrills and spills that an English domestic cup competition is known for.
Here is the preview of this game along with the team news, predicted line-ups, predictions and betting odds:
The Quarter final of the FA Cup between Everton and Chelsea will be played on Saturday the 12th of March at the Goodison Park in Liverpool. The kick-off is scheduled at 5:30 pm GMT (11:00 pm IST).
Roberto Martinez does not have too many injury issues going into this game. Tom Cleverly and Tony Hibbert are still not fit enough even to train and will not be a part of this game. There was good-news for the fans after it was revealed that Gareth Barry and Aaron Lennon have recovered from their injuries and are ready to be a part of the squad at Goodsion Part on Saturday. Mirallas will miss this game due to suspension
Hiddink also had some good news for the fans as he revealed that skipper John Terry is fit enough to take a part in this game for the club. Hazard who was taken off late in the game against PSG is also back fit while a late decision will be taken on Costa’s fitness for this game. Kurt Zouma is the only other major injury concern for the manager.
Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines; Barry, Besic, Barkley, Deulofeu; Lukaku
Courtois, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Baba Rahman, Mikel, Fabregas, Pedro, Willian, Hazard, Traore.
Romelu Lukaku vs Branislav Ivanovic:
Lukaku has been on a splendid scoring spree this season and has more goals than any other Everton player this season in all competitions. He will be against a solid looking Ivanovic who will have his work cut out against the big Belgian who will try to take advantage and give his side an upper hand in this FA Cup fixture.
Willian vs Gareth Barry:
Willian has been the most productive player for Chelsea this season and will once again play an important role in this FA Cup quarter final. Barry, who is coming back from an injury should be on his toes and keep Willian away from danger else Chelsea will be able to take advantage of his pace and directness to kill off the tie.
Only a point separates these two sides in the Premier League table.
Everton have won just one of their last five meetings with Chelsea in all competitions.
This will be the 12th FA Cup meeting between the two sides, with Everton having failed to win any of the last six in normal time.
Last season’s meeting between these two sides at Goodison Park ended in a 6-3 win for the Blues – only six games in Premier League history have produced more goals.
All of Chelsea’s star player Eden Hazard’s goals this season for the club have come in this competition.
Chelsea looked good for the first half against PSG but showed the lack of quality in the middle of the park in the second half. They will once again be harried in to making decisions by the Everton team who play with a high intensity and they will have to be at their best to even take this game to the Stamford Bridge. The Toffees will go into the game as favorites playing at home.
Our Prediction: Everton 2-1 Chelsea