Everton FC travel to West London this weekend to take on Chelsea FC in their second Barclay’s Premier League meeting of the 2013/14 season. In the reverse fixture at Goodison Park, Everton collected all three points courtesy of a Steven Naismith goal right on the stroke of halftime. Everton was the better side for the first half and though Chelsea started the second half brightly, they were wasteful in front of goal and could not make their chances count.
This time around, Chelsea will look to put a strong Everton side to the sword in order to build momentum for a tough stretch that features matchups against Galatasaray in the Champions League, a suddenly freescoring Fulham, and fourth place challengers Tottenham. It is yet to be seen who Everton will start at forward but the good news is that Romelu Lukaku is ineligible to play as loan players can not play against their parent clubs. Forwards Steven Naismith and the 6’8″ Lacina Traore both present unique challenges but with the impending return of John Terry the defense should be far more organized and equipped to handle the task.
David Luiz will be held out of the match as a precaution because of a muscle strain in his hip. Other than Marco Van Ginkel, there are no other injury concerns for the Blues. Everton’s Naismith suffered a concussion in their FA Cup match with Swansea but he has been cleared to play and will likely start. This will be a tough and physical matchup, as is usually the case with Everton, with the midfields dictating the pace and the winner of the match.
Match Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Everton
Match Facts and Notes:
- Chelsea is undefeated at home in the Premier League against Everton since November 1994. A stretch of 18 games.
- Roberto Martinez has lost in his last four trips to Stamford Bridge
- Chelsea are in the midst of an 11 match unbeaten streak in the Premiership, currently the longest in the league.
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