Chelsea vs Everton: Litmus test for the Blues

Defending champions Chelsea will be hosting inform Everton at the Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

It’s going to be a super Sunday as the Toffees travel to the Bridge to entertain the Blues who have had a poor start to the title defense picking 3 points out of 6. The London club opened 2017/18 season in a disastrous fashion with two red cards in a 3-2 Stamford Bridge defeat against Burnley. However, the Blues registered a 2-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley Stadium despite the squad being hit by injuries and suspensions.

Alonso’s double earned the Blues all the three points against their rivals in a game which was tipped to be hard. It will be another difficult test for Conte, whose side face unbeaten Everton, who have bolstered their squad and with inform Wayne Rooney who helped his side snatch a point against title favourites Manchester City.

Talking points

The last time these two sides met, Everton conceded five without reply due to being poor in the defense as well as shooting blanks with their attack being contained by Chelsea defense. The game won’t be the same with the Toffees being impressive at the back, Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane continue to shine as well as Phil Jagiel who has revived showing strong display. Rooney already has two goals and two assists from the last two games in Blues shirt, a major boost for boss Ronald Koeman. The Blues will be full of confidence after downing Spurs last Sunday, a game they showed they are still a quality side with quality players.

New signing Tiemoue Bakayoko looked good in midfield, despite being only half fit, while Alvaro Morata had bright moments up front. This is the Blues first home game since losing on the opening day against Burnley and they will be keen to right that wrong. It should make for a fascinating clash.

Team news

Chelsea have the majority of their squad to pick from for this game, only Eden Hazard is out at this moment in time. He won’t return from an ankle injury until the end of the month.

Cesc Fabregas is once again available for selection after completing his suspension and is expected be back to replace Bakayoko and partner N’golo Kante despite the Blues’ new man impressing against Spurs.

Everton currently have the second most injuries in the Premier League, with six of their first team squad out injured. Sandro Ramirez is a doubt after picking up an injury against Stoke on the opening day while James McCarthy is also absent. Ross Barkley, Yannick Bolasie, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori remain long-term absentees.

Team’s form

Chelsea        W L L W W

Everton         D W W W W

Stats

Last season saw an aggregate scoreline of 8-0 to Chelsea as they thrashed Everton 5-0 at Stamford Bridge and then ran out 3-0 winners at Goodison Park in April.

Last five head-to-head meetings: Chelsea W2, Everton W2, D1.

Chelsea have scored at least 2 goals in their last 6 home matches.

Ronald Koeman will be looking for his first Premier League win over Antonio Conte, with the Italian currently 2-0 up in this personal managerial battle.

Verdict

It is expected to be a tough game for both clubs but Everton are unlikely to be as open as they were in the 5-0 defeat last season and the Blues are not a big threat when it comes to attacking at the moment. The Sunday’s game should be much closer than the two last seasons and Chelsea will emerge the winner with a one goal difference.