Another Saturday night, another big game for title hopefuls Chelsea as Frank Lampard takes his men to Merseyside to face an out-of-sorts Everton.
The west London outfit can go back to the top of the table if they can stretch their good run of form to five wins from six league matches.
Everton had threatened to be in the fight with Chelsea for a top-four finish early on in the campaign, but are ninth after a run of one win from seven as Carlo Ancelotti prepares to face his former club.Everton vs Chelsea predictions
Chelsea continue to look like serious Premier League title contenders and it’s hard to see who can stop their great run of form. Everton have slumped since an encouraging start and it looks like the visitors can get their first win at Goodison Park in three attempts.
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Odds correct at time of publishing and subject to change.Goodison can be good to Chelsea
These two sides tend to be tough to split: Chelsea have drawn more league games with Everton and Arsenal (50) than any other teams, but there appears to be a distinct gap in quality at present.
Chelsea have really hit their stride in the last two months, winning eight of their last nine in all competitions. They deservedly beat Leeds 3-1 last time out in the league, finding a way to stifle them in a way Everton couldn’t when Marcelo Bielsa’s men recently won at Goodison Park.
Lampard then had the luxury of resting the majority of his big guns for the midweek Champions League draw with Krasnodar and should have a near-fully fit squad for Saturday’s game, with the exception of Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea are really clicking at both ends of the pitch, scoring the second-highest number of goals in the division and conceding the second-lowest number.
Everton, in contrast, go into this game on a run of 13 matches in all competitions without a clean sheet. Jordan Pickford has shouldered a lot of the blame for their inability to keep opponents out and although he had a decent game in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Burnley, he was beaten for a league-high fifth time this season with a long-range strike.
Their issues at the back are likely to derail Everton’s hopes of recording a third successive home win over Chelsea for the first time since the 1970s. While Ancelotti’s men have the firepower to cause the visitors problems, they will need to tighten up significantly to stop a Chelsea side averaging more than two goals per away game this season.
Goodison has been no stranger to high-scoring games this season with matches averaging nearly 4.5 goals per game and throwing over 2.5 goals into the mix with another Chelsea win adds more value.
Tip: Chelsea to win & over 2.5 goals @ 7/5 with bet365Calvert-Lewin to test Blues defence
The last time Chelsea visited Goodison Park they were bullied by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who netted a brace in something of a breakthrough peformance as Everton won 3-1.
The England striker has gone from strength to strength since and netted his 11th league goal of the season in last week’s 1-1 draw at Burnley.
No player in Europe’s top five leagues has proved more deadly inside the box than the 23-year-old and he should test Chelsea’s improved backline, who gave Leeds some good chances last weekend.
Calvert-Lewin has three goals in five previous appearances against the Blues and given he’s the division’s top scorer, is worth backing at the price available to score at any time.
Tip: Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score at any time @ 9/4 with bet365Trouble on the cards for Everton
The Toffees haven’t been afraid to get stuck in this season, averaging the second-highest number of yellow cards per game in the Premier League, and they are the only side to have had two men sent off in a match so far this season.
In contrast, Chelsea have managed to compete without overstepping the mark, going through three of their last four matches without a booking.
Everton won the card count in both meetings with Chelsea last season and look the more likely to have the lion’s share of the names in referee Jon Moss’s notebook come full-time on Saturday.
Tip: Everton 0 card handicap @ 6/5 with bet365Everton vs Chelsea odds
Chelsea are odds-on 3/4 favourites to come away from Merseyside with the three points with Everton unfancied by the bookies at 7/2. The draw can be backed at 14/5.
Odds are correct at the time of publication and are subject to change