Chelsea vs Everton

Chelsea’s European hopes are on the line as they welcome Premier League underachievers Everton at Stamford Bridge.

It’s been a ‘one step forward, two steps back’ type of season for Chelsea. After pulling off an incredible late comeback to beat Manchester United 4-3 in their last home league outing, they conceded a stoppage-time equalizer to draw 2-2 with rock-bottom Sheffield United, leaving their European ambitions in tatters. There’s still time to pick up slacks and haul back a six-point deficit on sixth-placed Newcastle, with the Blues coming into proceedings unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games (W3, D4). With two games in hand, Mauricio Pochettino’s side can still qualify for the Europa League, but ending a two-game winless run against Everton is paramount (D1, L1).

Visiting Everton arrested their longest winless league run in 67 years with a narrow 1-0 home triumph against fellow relegation rivals Burnley last time out. But despite putting a 13-game winless Premier League streak behind them, the Toffees take this trip amid dreadful away form, having failed to win their last eight top-flight games on the road (D3, L5). Stamford Bridge is not a venue where they can expect to end their travel sickness, considering they last won a league game in West London in 1994 (D13, L15). However, after a gutsy 2-0 home win in the reverse fixture, Everton could pull off their first league double over Chelsea since 1978/79.

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