Preview: Chelsea v Everton

Everton visit the home of reigning Premier League champions Chelsea as the Blues continue their torrid run of league fixtures.

Antonio Conte’s troops were ruthless last term, epitomised by last year’s demolition of the Toffees.

It was a brutal learning curve for Ronald Koeman’s men, a crushing 5-0 defeat.

A lot has changed since that fateful bonfire night of 2016, both teams have lost important players as well as gaining new recruits this summer.

Chelsea have suffered a stuttering start to their title defence.

A shock opening day defeat at the Bridge at the hands to Burnley was followed by a 2-1 Wembley win against title rivals Spurs last weekend.

Captain Gary Cahill is still suspended, whereas influential midfielder Cesc Fabregas is back in contention after the Chelsea pair were both shown their marching orders on day one of the campaign.

Thankfully for the men from Merseyside, Eden Hazard is back in training for Chelsea, but there will be no appearance from the Belgian this coming Sunday, he stepped up his return to fitness against the Everton’s under 23 side on Friday evening.


Ones to watch

As with Manchester City, it is once again more of a case of who not to watch with such a plethora of top class talent…

Summer recruit Alvaro Morata will still be acclimatising to the British game, but the Spain international will still pose a big threat.

A goal on his Premier League debut wasn’t enough to stop his side being condemned to defeat, but the £70 million man will bring much needed net bulging after talisman Diego Costa has been banished to the abyss.

N’Golo Kante is a poor man’s Gana Gueye, but that’s not the point. Two league winner’s medals in two years with two different clubs tells you a lot of what you need to know.

The Frenchman is the heartbeat in any midfield he plays in, a player who’ll never give up on a lost cause.

Such a big presence for a little man.

Wembley hero Marcos Alonso’s free kicks are a massive threat, the former Bolton and Sunderland man has made the left hand side his own since his big move to west London.

His first Chelsea goal came against Everton in that 5-0 drubbing.


So then, Stamford Bridge it is, a tough stomping ground for the Toffees in recent history with no league win at the home of Chelsea since 1994.

A record that’s desperate for improvement.

Everyone came out of Thursday night’s 1-1 draw away to Hajduk Split unscathed.

Sandro is still a doubt, Davy Klaassen is out and Morgan Schneiderlin is serving the suspension for the most bizarre red card ever.

Most worrying of all, Idrissa Gana Gueye sat out the clash in Croatia with a tight hamstring, Evertonians’ fingers will be crossed hoping and praying that the Senegal international will be fit to do what he does best as soon as possible.

The boys from L4 will want a positive result before everyone’s favourite part of the season kicks in after just three league games… an international break.

Up the Toffees.

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