Can Chelsea put Pressure on Man City?
Last updated: November 8, 2018 by Leon Marshal
|Coverage:||BBC Radio 5Live|
|Last Meeting:||Everton 0 – 0 Chelsea|
Chelsea have defied expectation this season by starting very strong, recording eight wins in 11 games and scoring important draws against key competitors Liverpool and Manchester United. Switching to an optimistic 4-3-3 formation, Maurizio Sarri has favoured a more attacking approach than his predecessor Antonio Conte, really allowing star-man Eden Hazard to truly realise his full potential. In addition, Ross Barkley has really come into form, with new signings Jorginho and Kovacic helping to create one of the most robust central midfields in Europe. Only trailing Manchester City by two points, victory here plus upset in the Manchester Derby could see the Blues moving to the top of the table. Even if Man City do manage to beat a United team adopting a cynical Mourinho approach — and no one wants to bet against a team that just demolished Southampton 6-1! — a Chelsea win keeps the pressure tight, meaning this race still has everything to play for.
On paper, a home fixture against Everton represents a very easy win. The last time the Toffees recorded a point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was in 2010, and their last victory in the league here was all the way back 1991. With Alvaro Morata also regaining his previous form with two clinical finishes against Crystal Palace last Sunday, and reliable Pedro racking up the assists, Chelsea’s attacking prowess will likely be too much for Everton to handle here. Chelsea may be tired from their Europa League fixture against BATE, but the Belarussians are a very poor international side, and Chelsea are three-for-three against their kindergarten counterparts, allowing Sarri to give some of his youngsters a runaround. The core team, including Hazard and Morata, will be fit and rested. Buoyed by the home crowd, this should be a comfortable win.
This said, Everton have been looking good this season, up seven points from the same period last time round. If they do nick it, it will be courtesy of Fantasy Football bargain Richarlison, who has already scored six goals this season, including two against Crystal Palace last week. With a keen eye for space and a lethal finish, his second goal in that game proves that he can score out of basically nothing. With Chelsea’s clean sheet record at a rather poor 45%, Everton’s best chance is to get an early goal and hope they can do enough to hold on. Richarlison will have to be on top form here, because its likely he’ll only get one or two chances. But if Chelsea’s clean sheet record is poor, Everton’s is even worse, only managing to win to nil twice all season. Statistically speaking, with both Chelsea and Everton likely to score over 2.5 goals a game a very favourable 73% of the time, the smart money is on Chelsea to run away with it here in an exciting goal-heavy game. If both Hazard and Morata are on top form, this could be an embarrassing trip down south for the Toffees.
Rising star Ruben Loftus-Cheek was linked to move to West Ham on loan in January but Maurizio Sarri quickly closed these rumours down. The England international has yet to start a Premier League game this season for Chelsea.
Sarri admitted that Chelsea needed Hazard to ensure victory against Crystal Palace last weekend, stating that: “We were a little bit in trouble so we needed some quality and personalty.”
After scoring against Gor Mahia to help Everton clinch the SportPesa trophy, Kieran Dowell stresses that he wants to impress boss Marco Silva at every opportunity, saying that: “The manager is always watching and it is always a chance to impress”
Everton are already looking to bolster their attack in January, with bookmakers putting them second favourites to sign Bournemouth star Callum Wilson. The favourites? Chelsea. Maybe they can loan him out?
|Chelsea (4-3-3):||Arrizablaga, Azpilicueta, Rüdiger, David Luiz, Alonso, Kanté, Jorginho, Kovacic, Hazard, Morata, Willian|
|Subs:||Caballero, Pedro, Zappacosta, Cahill, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Fàbregas|
|Everton (4-3-3):||Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Bernard, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Richarlison|
|Subs:||Stekelenburg, Baines, Jagielka, Mina, Davies, lookman, Dowell, Calvert- Lewin|
|Doubtful:||McCarthy, Andrade, Kenny|
So Far This Season
|Chelsea This Season||Everton This Season|
|8 (4)||Wins (away)||5 (1)|
|4 – 0 v Burnley||Biggest Win||3 – 0 v Fulham|
|3 (2)||Draws (away)||3 (2)|
|—-||Biggest Defeat||1 – 3 West Ham|
|Hazard (7)||Top Goal Scorer||Richarlison (6)|
|Y9, R0||Discipline||Y14, R2|
|1||Failures to Score||1|
|55%||Both Teams to Score Games||73%|
|73%||Over 2.5 Goals||73%|
|27%||Under 2.5 Goals||27%|
- Just 9 points separate Chelsea from Everton at this early stage in the season. A win for The Toffees could bump them up above Bournemouth into fifth place in the table.
- Stamford Bridge remains a fortress for the Blues. Their last loss there in the league was in last September against Manchester City.
- Everton are looking very shaky on the road. Of their five wins this season, only one came in an away game, against Leicester City.
- There have only been two failures to score for both sides since the start of the season. One should expect a competitive game here.
Head to Head
|Last 5 meetings between the two sides|
|Date||Competition||Game Result||First Goal-scorer|
|23/12/2017||EPL||Everton 0 – 0 Chelsea||—-|
|25/10/2017||League Cup||Chelsea 2 – 1 Everton||Rüdiger 26’|
|27/08/2017||EPL||Chelsea 2 – 0 Everton||Fàbregas 27′|
|30/04/2017||EPL||Everton 0 – 3 Chelsea||Pedro 66’|
|05/11/2016||EPL||Chelsea 5 – 0 Everton||Hazard 19’|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
Chelsea are the firm favourites to win this game, with odds of 2/5 over at William HIll. These are pretty decent odds considering the likelihood of a Chelsea victory here. With both teams scoring in games in a combined 64% of Chelsea and Everton fixtures, odds of both Chelsea to win and Both Teams to Score at 17/10 represents some really good value. Not so great is to bet on Chelsea to win and 3 or More Goals in the Match at 4/5. As a smart bet we would recommend Chelsea/Both Teams to Score option. On the other side of things a straight Everton win comes in at a generous 6/1, with double chance a more conservative 15/8. If you really think that Everton have an edge (we don’t) then go for it, but make sure you have really run the numbers before committing to this kind of bet. When it comes to individual players, a smart bet may be for Morata to score anytime at odds of 19/20 or Richarlison at even more generous odds of 5/2. If massive upsets are what you are after, an Everton win with Richarlison to score anytime is a whopping 11/1, 66/1 if they manage to win just one goal to nil. We would recommend something like Chelsea to Win and Hazard to score last at great odds of 9/2. Always remember to take a strong survey of all the different options available before finally committing to a choice.