Carlo Ancelotti faces former club as Everton take on Chelsea in intriguing tactical clash
Chelsea to win 2-1
At the start of October, Everton found themselves five points ahead of their rivals this weekend after a run of top form which took them to the peak of the league.
Two months later and the tables have turned completely, with Chelsea the side now sitting five points ahead of Everton.
The Toffees’ form has taken a steep dive after sitting top, with four defeats and just a single victory from their previous seven matches, with only four teams in the division suffering worse form during that period.
On the other hand, Chelsea’s star has continued to rise since their 0-0 draw with Manchester United six weeks ago, beating all but Spurs (with whom they drew) and temporarily sitting in 1st position last weekend.
On paper, this looks like a simple victory for Chelsea, however Everton will want to rediscover some of that early season form by putting in a top performance.
Form Guide (all comps): LLWLD
Reasons to be cheerful:
Calvert-Lewin’s form is still exceptional, even if his team’s is not
Ancelotti knows Chelsea well from his time there as manager
Reasons to be fearful:
Chelsea are in exceptional form, unbeaten in 14 games across all comps.
Everton have lost last two home matches
Everton will be aiming not to lose three consecutive home matches for the first time since March 2016.
To do so, they will still be without several of their key players due to injury, in particular their full-backs Coleman and Digne who have been so key in providing crosses for Everton’s strikers.
The Toffees looked good for most of their 1-1 draw with Burnley, though were shaken when their opponents took the lead early on and could only recover to claim a point.
Burnley are a side struggling for form near the bottom and Chelsea will play with far more quality this weekend. Everton will need to play at the same high levels they found earlier on in the season.
Star Man – Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Despite reduced service in recent weeks, is still scoring regularly for Everton. He will be so key against Chelsea
Form Guide (all comps): WDWWD
Reasons to be cheerful
Were able to rest players in midweek
Competition for places is driving them to the next level
Reasons to be fearful
Hakim Ziyech likely to miss out due to injury
Chelsea will be wary of an Everton response
Frank Lampard is clearly building something special at Stamford Bridge.
His second full season at the club, with seemingly unlimited transfer funds helping to build a squad that looks capable of challenging for trophies this season.
He has competition for places in every position, with the underrated Olivier Giroud continuing to show his quality in attack, having scored in each of his last six starts for The Blues.
Hakim Ziyech will be a miss on the right wing – the summer signing is another who has settled quickly into his new surroundings and has been particularly influential of late.
Chelsea can go top once again with victory, albeit perhaps temporarily, and they’ll be keen to put in a positive performance to continue their great form.
Star Man – Olivier Giroud
Has a goal every 52 minutes this season – Chelsea’s next best is Timo Werner with a goal every 176 minutes.
Should be an entertaining fixture to watch
Chelsea have more goals in them than Everton
Both sides likely to score
Chelsea’s unbeaten run, currently standing at 14 matches, will of course end at some point.
However, whether Everton are the side to finally claim three points off Lampard’s men remains to be seen. Ancelotti will have a specific plan for his old team, but Chelsea seem to be able to score goals at will right now.
Everton’s best hope is to attack Chelsea and try to outscore them, however it is unlikely to work.
Chelsea to win 2-1