Everton Perspective: Brian Lewis, Royal Blue Mersey.
Everton look set to have their top 3 midfielders missing out on the weekend matchup against Chelsea. Marouane Fellaini is serving the final game of his suspension for headbutting Ryan Shawcross, while Kevin Mirallas and Darron Gibson are likely to miss out due to injury. Gibson’s red card against West Ham was overturned, but the former Manchester United midfielder will have to pass a late fitness test to play in this match.
After a murderous 3 game stretch against Arsenal, Spurs, and Manchester City, Everton have earned some much needed 3 points against inferior sides. The Toffees have 13 points from the last 7 matches, and are behind Spurs for fourth place only due to goal differential.
Everton have been a bit of a thorn in Chelsea’s side recently. Chelsea have only one win in their past 8 meetings with Everton, so there is little doubt on Merseyside that Everton have the potential to grab all 3 points.
Nikica Jelavic to score any time at 3.00 – the Croatian has had a bit of a dry spout in front of goal, but this is the type of game where one of his classic one-touch finishes will be useful.
Leon Osman to score any time at 5.00 – Osman has looked extremely dangerous as well..
Fernando Torres to score any time at 3.00 - The former Liverpool man has put a few in the back of the net recently, and you really can’t go wrong with the bet.
Score Prediction: Everton 2-1 Chelsea (11.00)
Chelsea perspective: Andy Seaby, Chelsea Daft.
Once again questions remain over the fitness of John Terry and it's looking like he will miss the whole of the festive period including our next game against QPR. With Oriol Romeu a long term injury and Daniel Sturridge off to Liverpool as soon as the transfer window opens, Rafa Benitez travels back to Merseyside with everyone else available.
Chelsea have won their last six games in all competitions and have kept four clean sheets. We have also scored 26 goals over the same period of time including the demolition of Aston Villa last Sunday. Under Rafa Benitez however, Chelsea can dig in, remain tight at the back and grind out a 1-0 win as we did against Norwich on Boxing Day. We will more than likely have to do the same this weekend.
Chelsea have lost the last three Premier League fixtures at Goodison Park and if we are to have any chance of maintaining pressure on City in third place and eventually Man United, we need to reverse that trend. However, Everton are unbeaten this season in the Premier League at home and it's going to be a very difficult game.
Under 1.5 goals at 3.70 - games against Everton at Goodison are always tight, tense affairs and a single goal could win this one.
Juan Mata to score the only goal at 8.00 - the little magician has been outstanding this season and has the natural instincts to find space and to hurt the opposition.
A Chelsea win with a clean sheet at 4.25 - since Rafa Benitez took over, there has been a marked improvement at the back and Chelsea have kept four clean sheets in six games
Score Prediction: Everton 0-1 Chelsea (9.25)