Chelsea will hope to maintain their comfortable lead at the summit of the Premier League table when they host stuttering Everton on Wednesday evening.
A hard-fought 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday saw Jose Mourinho’s side open up a seven point gap over second-place Manchester City after the latter were held to a surprise draw at home to Hull City.
However, the absence of suspended top scorer Diego Costa and injured top assist provider Cesc Fabregas could see Chelsea struggle to break down a resilient Everton side, although the Spanish midfielder could return in time to make the starting line-up.
Pressure is mounting on Toffees boss Roberto Martinez after a drab goalless draw in Sunday’s Merseyside derby continued a poor run of one win in eight league games, leaving Everton 15 points adrift of the European places.
The Spaniard will take heart from three consecutive clean sheets but a lack of attacking threat continues to be a problem as they have only scored once in three matches.
KICK-OFF: Wednesday, 7.45pm
Everton 3 (Mirallas, Naismith, Eto’o) Chelsea 6 (Costa 2, Ivanovic, Coleman og, Matic, Ramires), Premier League, August 2014
Chelsea 1 (Lampard) Everton 0, Premier League, February 2014
Everton 1 (Naismith) Chelsea 0, Premier League, September 2013
Chelsea edge Everton on the overall head to head record, winning 55 meetings to Everton’s 49.
Chelsea have won just six of their last 16 Premier League matches against Everton.
Steven Naismith has scored in three of his last four Premier League appearances against Chelsea.
Everton have picked up only nine points from their last ten Premier League matches.
Chelsea to win: 1.3
Everton to win: 11.0
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