Saturday afternoon will mark the third clash this campaign between Everton and Chelsea, with the Londoners downing the Toffees in the two previous meetings.

But this is a completely different Everton side to the lacklustre Ronald Koeman outfit that went down 2-0 without a fight in August and the side that unluckily, to say the least, exited the Carabao Cup with David Unsworth at the helm.

But now six games into the reign of Sam Allardyce the mood around the camp is a world apart from what it was.

But the 12:30 kick-off will prove a real test for Allardyce’s unbeaten start to life at Everton.

The reigning champions are currently sitting third in the division, a monumental 14 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

It will be a massive disappointment for Antonio Conte that his team haven’t put up more of a challenge this time around.

The southern Blues have already suffered four defeats in the league this season, just one fewer than in the whole of last term.

One to watch – 

Eden Hazard. Need I say more?

The electrifying Belgian will send shivers down any defender’s spine, contributing to a goal every other game so far this season –  and the attacker hasn’t hit top form yet, it is a massive worry for the Blues that Saturday is the day he could turn it on and run the Everton backline ragged.

Whether he is deployed as a centre forward or as usual in a left wing position, one thing is clear, Hazard needs special attention.

Team news – 

Leighton Baines is still absent for the hosts, Ross Barkley has been spotted in first team training but this one will come too soon for the England international. Yannick Bolaise has a good chance of featuring for Everton for the first time in over a year.

The visitors will be without top scorer Alvaro Morata after he picked up his fifth booking of the season against Bournemouth in midweek, the Spaniard has 11 goals in all competitions. David Luiz and Charly Musonda are unavailable through injury.
Man in the middle – 

Bobby Madley will take charge of the game, he is no stranger to cards, having dished out five reds and 57 yellows this season, two of those reds came in Everton’s 1-1 draw at the Etihad in August, giving Kyle Walker and Morgan Schneiderlin their marching orders.

An away win won’t see Chelsea move in the table, even if Manchester United are defeated, the Red Devils’ superior goal difference will leave Conte’s side as high as third, but a home win could see Everton go above Leicester (providing United do the job over them) into 8th.

Up the Toffees.

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If Moyes had delivered that unambitious plop today he'd have been massacred on here and rightly so.

Yes, and if Sam is delivering it after eleven years in charge, or even eleven months in charge, he would be being massacred as well.

As it happens he has been here less than a month and already our position is transformed.

Cheer the heck up and enjoy Christmas with Everton in the top half of the table :razz:int2:

Mikeonlythebestwilldo Carnt see Sam staying passed the summer mate , the board are on the right track off the field now carnt see moshiri stoping with Sam can see him here just to stabilise and move the team up the table faster Given that Moshiri seemed to let Koeman write his own contract and was prepared to pay Watford gazillions to take their bloke, I am not entirely filled with confidence about the prospect of letting him hunt another manager. The manager after Sam needs to be headhunted by a professional football man. Anyway, Sam is doing a splendid job… Read more »
Last season when we were thoroughly dominated by City and nicked a draw I was critical. Chelsea put 5 on us with the same tactics and I fumed even more. Guess it's all relative though. After the mauling Soton gave us I actually thought this was gonna be a long, tough, and stressful season. Fast forward to today…we were thoroughly dominated by Chelsea but kept a clean sheet. NEA I will take it based on where we were going a few weeks ago. 0 shots on target? Sure we were awful…but it's a point that we would not have won… Read more »

Yes get in!

It’s all worth it…