16 December, 2021

AUTHOR: James Dowen

STAR PREVIEW Thurs: Chelsea v Everton

Chelsea and Everton may be at opposite ends of the table, but both of their seasons have been eventful, and the pair could combine for an entertaining game at Stamford Bridge.

The story of Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel has been one of a side with a water tight defence, but that has changed recently. After an extraordinary run of just four goals conceded in 12 games – and two of them penalties – Chelsea have conceded seven goals in their last four Premier League games and five in the last two (Including a 3-3 Champions League draw against Zenit St Petersburg, Chelsea have let in eight goals in three matches).

That’s coincided with a slump in their recent form – they’ve failed to win three of their last six games – although one could argue that two of the three goals they conceded against West Ham were gifts, with Jorginho’s dire back pass ended up with Edouard Mendy bringing down Jarrod Bowen and Mendy being wrong footed from Arthur Masuaku’s late cross.

However, Chelsea have been looser at the back recently and that’s underlined by high xG numbers for Leeds and West Ham – Leeds’ managed 1.92 and West Ham 1.71 with InfoGol – and Thomas Tuchel will want that to change quickly if The Blues are to keep pace with Manchester City and Liverpool.

Chelsea v Everton
Premier League
19:45 BT Sport 2 HD

(Maximum 10 matches)
MAR 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 2-0 Everton
DEC 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 1-0 Chelsea
MAR 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 4-0 Everton
DEC 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 3-1 Chelsea
MAR 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 2-0 Chelsea
NOV 2018 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 0-0 Everton
DEC 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-0 Chelsea
OCT 2017 EFL CUP Chelsea 2-1 Everton
AUG 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 2-0 Everton
APR 2017 PREMIER LEAGUE Everton 0-3 Chelsea
NOV 2016 PREMIER LEAGUE Chelsea 5-0 Everton
MAR 2016 FA CUP Everton 2-0 Chelsea

Everton gained a much-needed win against Arsenal thanks to Demari Gray’s stunner but their dire season continued with another defeat against Crystal Palace, where fans booed Rafael Benitez’s decision to substitute Richarlison when Everton were 1-0 down.

Everton actually played their best football without him but few could argue that Palace didn’t deserve their win even if their third goal came in added time, and if they cannot raise their standards then they could be in trouble against a Chelsea side which is still scoring plenty (11 goals in their last four games) even if they’re ropier at the back.

There’s no huge appetite to get involved with either side, as Chelsea are very short in most areas and Everton can’t be trusted in their current form, so goals could be the way to go. Five of Chelsea’s last six games have seen 3 goals or more and Everton have seen over 2.5 goals in four of their last six, making 4/6 seem a fair price.

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