Chelsea vs Everton Match Preview
Chelsea is going to face the toughest test of their remaining matches towards their way of winning the title on Sunday vs Everton.
Antonio Conte’s Blues are four points clear at the top of the table after Tottenham’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace, and head to Goodison Park knowing another win will put them one step closer to the title.
But Everton boss Ronald Koeman will be confident of troubling Chelsea given that he boasts the Premier League’s top scorer Lukaku. Chelsea have targeted their former striker for a Stamford Bridge return this summer, but the Belgian’s focus this weekend will be on adding to his 24 league goals this season and putting a dent in Conte’s title ambitions.
The Toffees require victory to truly keep the pressure alive on the sides directly above them, meanwhile, as they look to overhaul Arsenal and Manchester United to finish in the unlikely position of fifth.
Momentum is always key heading into the final stretch of the campaign, particularly when you still have a target to aim for, but last weekend’s goalless draw away to West Ham United has effectively killed off the Toffees’ season.
The pressure was beginning to build on those aforementioned teams in front of Everton following back-to-back wins over Leicester City and Burnley, taking the Merseyside outfit temporarily into fifth spot, only for their hard work to be undone with the flattest of stalemates a week ago.
Their failure to create a single chance at the London Stadium has left Everton seventh in the table, two points off Arsenal and six off fifth-placed Man United, who have two games and one game in hand respectively – surely too big a margin to overcome heading into the final month.
Conte: “Everton are a really good team, a strong team with great players in their squad, good quality. A physical team also,” said Conte.
“They have a good manager and play exciting football. For sure it will be a really tough game for us but at the end of the season, I think every game becomes tough for many different reasons.
“When they play at home they are strong. For us it is very important to look at ourselves, to prepare very well for this type of game.”
Koeman: After a 0-0 draw against West Ham Koeman told his players to focus on this big match which they need to win to have some hopes for the top six place.
“Maybe we need to change our mentality a bit because I felt a bit less intensity in the game last week, maybe a bit less motivation.” he said.
“It is always difficult if you have already the seventh position in the pocket and maybe they get a little bit more holiday or end-of-season feeling.”
“That is what I don’t like. We like to keep momentum at home, we are strong at home and we know what we need (to do) to face the best team of the Premier League.”
Everton: Everton have Enner Valencia available after the striker was ineligible to face parent club West Ham last week.
None of the Toffees’ injured stars are ready to return, however. Midfielder Muhamed Besic is building up his fitness after a year out with a serious knee injury but James McCarthy (hamstring), Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie (both knee), Seamus Coleman (broken leg) and Aaron Lennon all remain sidelined.
Conte is expected to continue with his tried and tested regulars as his side edge ever close to the Premier League title, and that means Hazard and Costa look set to start.
Possible Everton XI: Joel Robles, Leighton Baines, Ashley Williams, Phil Jagielka, Mason Holgate, Tom Davies, Morgan Schneiderlin, Idrissa Gueye, Kevin Mirallas, Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku
Possible Chelsea XI: Thibaut Courtois, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso, Willian, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa
Date: 30th April, Sunday
Time: 2:05 p.m. BST/9:05 a.m. ET/ 6:35 PM IST
Venue: Goodison Park.
TV Info: Sky Sports 1 (UK), CNBC (US), Star Sports Select HD 1.
Live Stream: Sky Go, NBC Live (U.S.)
Head to Head Details
- Total Matches Played:- 175
- Chelsea won:- 69
- Everton won:- 54
- Games Drawn:- 52