Sunday, April 18, 2021

Prediction: Chelsea vs Everton

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

In a battle between two sides dreaming of a top-four finish, Chelsea will welcome Everton to an empty Stamford Bridge on Monday evening.

Chelsea

Starting with the hosts, managing to pile even more pressure onto Liverpool’s shoulders last time out, the mood in Chelsea’s camp should be at a real high. Eventually leaving Anfield with a 1-0 win to show for their troubles, the Blues have gained plenty of plaudits since bringing in Thomas Tuchel back in January. In fact, Since the German coach took charge of his first league game as Chelsea boss on January 27th, only Manchester City (24) have picked up more points. Finding a route back into the top-four and yet to taste defeat since the former PSG boss took charge in West London, they also managed to pick up a real Champions League advantage last month. Shocking many and landing a 1-0 win away at Spanish leaders Atletico Madrid, Chelsea have also shown some rather drastic improvements at the back. Including recording three clean sheets on the bounce against Liverpool, Manchester United and Atletico, Monday’s hosts have remarkably seen just one opposition player breach their defence in Tuchel’s 10 games in charge.

Team News

Chelsea centre-back Thiago Silva is nearing a return after missing the last seven games because of a thigh problem, and will be assessed.

Striker Tammy Abraham, who has been nursing a minor injury, faces a late fitness test.

Everton

As for the visitors, managing to avoid some last-gasp VAR drama away at West Brom last time out, Everton have really picked up some momentum over the past fortnight. Putting those back-to-back defeats against Fulham and Manchester City from last month behind them, the Toffees also picked up their own famous victory at Anfield. Landing their first win across Stanley Park since 1999, Carlo Ancelotti’s side picked up a 2-0 victory and they find themselves enjoying a three-match Premier League winning run. While the former Napoli boss might have seen his side just about manage to leave the Midlands with all three points last week, Everton have a top-four return at the top of their agenda. Really gaining a string of admirers since the Italian icon took charge at Goodison Park, it could be worth keeping an eye out for a free-scoring Richarlison on Monday evening. Bagging the winner against West Brom last time out, the Brazilian international has scored in his last four appearances on the bounce.

Team News

Suffering with a calf injury, forward James Rodriguez looks set to once again miss out in the capital on Monday evening.

Tom Davies and Seamus Coleman will also need to be assessed, while Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph remain sidelined.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When the two sides faced off in the reverse fixture back in December, Everton picked up a 1-0 win at Goodison Park.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in each of their 10 matchups across all formats since Thomas Tuchel took charge back in January.
  • In fact, only one opposition player has managed to breach Chelsea’s defence in those 10 contests.
  • Everton have won each of their last three Premier League matchups on the bounce, their best run since opening 2021.
  • Brazilian international Richarlison has found the net in his last four appearances on the spin.

Conclusion

In a showdown between two sides who have a top-four finish at the top of their agenda, we could have a low-scoring contest on our hands at Stamford Bridge. With both Chelsea and Everton boosted by victories away at Anfield, Thomas Tuchel’s and Carlo Ancelotti’s teams have gained plenty of plaudits for their continued success at the back. Along with just a single opposition player finding the net against Monday’s hosts since the former PSG boss took charge back in January, it should also be noted that the Toffees have recorded three clean sheets on the spin. With Everton picking up a 1-0 win at Goodison Park when the two sides faced off back in December, don’t be surprised to see chances come at a premium in West London.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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